You’ve spent a lot of time in the company of your writing and know it inside out. But will your readers understand what you mean, or might they be confused? I’ll highlight plot or narrative inconsistencies and clarify any ambiguous phrasing. I’ll also tighten your prose and improve pace by eliminating redundant language and repetition. And I’ll make sure your readers aren’t distracted by inaccurate facts or awkward syntax.

Put simply, line editing – also known as stylistic editing – focuses on improving your writing by ensuring that your writing is artful in the way that it flows, and correct and consistent in the way that it’s presented. Copy-editing aims to correct your writing by making sentences and paragraphs clear in meaning and consistent in style.

I offer a combination of line and copy-editing. This involves an in-depth treatment of the text at word and sentence level, helping to fine-tune your language and make your writing more elegant. My aim is to help you connect with your readers in an engaging and accessible way and to enhance your unique style and voice. And, hopefully, I can help you to become a better writer in the process. 

‘I chose Nicky from a field of six experienced and well-qualified indie editors who had been recommended. I was immediately heartened by her enthusiasm for my MS and my writing style, and by the fact that she was broad-minded enough to immerse herself in the mire of what I (sorry … Richie) had written. Nicky’s enthusiasm shone through beyond her final edit, style sheet and reworked synopsis. I would wholeheartedly recommend Nicky’s services, and I have already booked in a developmental edit of my current project, The Killing of Richie Malone. I regard commissioning Nicky as money really well spent, and I have total confidence in her judgement, editorial suggestions and professionalism.’

Richard Grainger, ghostwriter of Richie Malone’s Losing The Plot

As well as checking grammar, spelling and punctuation, I’ll focus on areas such as:

  • improving style and flow
  • avoiding repetition, ambiguity and awkward syntax
  • character and plot inconsistencies
  • point of view and narrative voice inconsistencies
  • avoiding crutch words and redundant language
  • consistency of tense and detail
  • loose ends and timing issues
  • dialogue: authenticity, use of beats and tags
  • showing and telling, exposition and overwriting
  • appropriate choice of language for your audience
  • avoiding lazy metaphors and clichés
  • checking for accuracy and correcting basic factual errors
  • flagging up potential legal and sensitivity issues (but it will be your responsibility to check and organise if permissions are needed)
  • adhering to your chosen style guide, such as the New Oxford Style Manual or Chicago Manual of Style, or advising you on the most appropriate style for your work

Please note: a line and copy-edit is not a substitute for a proofread. All edited texts will still benefit from a final proofread before publication, and I always recommend doing so. For self-publishing line and copy-editing clients, I will proofread the final formatted version at a reduced rate. You can see more information about proofreading and the other post-edit author services I offer here.

What's included

  • two passes* and a final check of any short passages which have been rewritten following my queries and suggestions
  • a personalised editorial style sheet which lists style preferences along with relevant details such as characters and settings
  • an editorial report which focuses on your writing style and habits, and includes suggested further reading to help you improve your craft
  • recommended resources, such as articles, books or website links, tailored to your individual needs
  • proofreading of additional pages such as acknowledgements and forewords (for self-publishing authors)
  • up to sixty minutes of follow-up discussion (after which an hourly rate of 35€ applies)

* I’ll return the edited manuscript to you after the second pass. However, if any minor developmental issues arise that require lengthier passages to be rewritten, then I will return it for you to revise before I do the second pass.

‘Nicky is a wonderful person to work with. She is timely, thorough, kind and has the ability to suggest improvements, increase clarity and help the writer become better by offering constructive guidance. I enjoyed learning loads in the process. The editorial style sheet that she provides is set out in a professional manner, and Nicky is generous with her time in answering questions and also offering advice with back cover blurb and cover design. I would definitely work with Nicky again.’

LA Naylor, author, The Land of Trees

How it works

For line and copy-editing, I use Word Track Changes. You’ll receive your work clearly marked up with my suggestions, corrections and queries, which you are free to accept or reject – this way, you can see exactly what I’ve done. I’ll also send you a clean version with all changes accepted and just my comments showing. If you’re not familiar with Track Changes or other useful Word tools such as Styles, just let me know and I’ll provide you with some clear and helpful resources.

On average, it’s best to allow four weeks for a line and copy-edit of a novel or book.

Prices

Line and copy-editing prices start at 15€* per 1,000 words, depending on length, complexity, turnaround time and the level of editing required. Additional editorial consultancy will be charged at an hourly rate of 35€*.

Editing of PDFs, web copy and all projects with a word count below 10,000 will be charged at an hourly rate or an agreed fixed fee, with a minimum charge of 50€*.

If the total fee is more than 200€*, or to reserve a slot in advance, a deposit of 50% is required and the balance is due on completion unless alternative arrangements have been agreed. Otherwise, payment is due in advance.

For line and copy-editing of Word manuscripts, a deposit of 50% is required upon booking, with 25% due on completion of the second pass and the remaining 25% due on completion of the edit, unless otherwise agreed.

If it becomes apparent that the manuscript isn’t yet ready for a line and copy-edit and needs developmental help first, then payment already received will be taken into account.

If your work is urgent and requires me to work unsociable hours – early mornings, evenings or weekends – then I can be flexible but my rates will be higher accordingly.

* All fees are in euros and exclude IVA (Spanish VAT) at 21%. I’m a Spanish resident and registered as autónomo. Payment is accepted via debit or credit card, or bank transfer (via your bank or TransferWise, CurrencyFair etc) to my Spanish bank account.