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 it 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.
If you’re self-publishing and your budget only allows for one editing process, my advice would be to make it this one.
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.
- 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
- observations of your writing style and habits, and suggestions 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.
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.
Line and copy-editing rates 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 a minimum 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.