Copy (Line) Editing
Copy (Line) Editing is checking text to be printed or published by checking its consistency and accuracy.
This is a separate process if you choose to hire me after Developmental Editing.
What I Check and Correct to Enhance Your Writing
My goal is to strengthen your prose when I copy-edit your book. As I edit:
- I’ll substitute weak words, phrases, and sentences with compelling alternatives.
- I do not “re-write” your book, but I do offer alternatives for your consideration.
- With the Microsoft Word “Review” function, you are able to reverse any edits you wish. I use Microsoft Word exclusively for copy editing.
Do you use Scrivener or another word processor? No problem. Export to the “doc” format. However, you lose the ability to see and reverse edits easily.
Your work will be more focused and have greater clarity when I have completed my copy editing. Your voice will be more vibrant. Your book will then be ready for typesetting and subsequent review of the proof by others.
I help perfect your manuscript by reviewing and improving grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Here’s a partial list of the things I check and correct when I do the line editing of your book:
• Spelling correctness and consistency
• Proper noun usage
• Reduce adverb usage
• Delete repeated words
• Eliminate repeated phrases
• Correct misused words
• Check similar words (like to, too, two and there, their, they’re)
• Eliminate or reduce redundancies
• Consistent bullet/list formatting
• Check for acronym consistency
• Consistent use of compound words
• Reduce run-on sentences
• Reduce passive voice
• Consistent heading/subheading formatting
• Proper formatting of book, movie, and other titles
• Check for common typos
• Consistent capitalization
• Consistent use of numbers (1-9 are words, 10 above are numbers)
• Quote style (straight or curly)
• Proper use of em and en dashes and hyphens
• Reduce exclamation mark usage
• Proper use of period and ellipse marks
• Close open brackets and quotes
• Eliminate double spaces after periods
• Make dialog tags consistent
• Correct other relevant issues. Clarity is the ultimate goal.
This is my final work product for the copy editing fee. Sometimes authors want to rewrite or polish their manuscript after I edit it, and that requires a second round of copy editing. Re-editing a revised draft attracts an extra fee.
Copy Editing Fee
Copy editing your “best and final” book manuscript. Up to 45,000 words, a flat fee of $495. Add 2.9 cents per word beyond 45,000 words based on Microsoft Word word count.
Example for a 60,000-word book: $495 for the first 45,000 words + .029 cents x remaining 15,000 words = $930.
All fees are payable in advance by Credit Card or PayPal. Since I allocate time for your job and reject other projects, there is no refund. By engaging my services you agree to those terms. Copy editing has many subjective elements; clients acknowledge that by engaging my services.
I have a near-perfect history of client satisfaction and I want you to be among that group. I want to edit your next book too, so your satisfaction is important to me.
Completion time is usually 7-10 business days after I receive your manuscript. Once I have an opportunity to view your complete manuscript I’ll be able to give you a firm delivery date. I work remotely from Southern California and maintain contact by phone (US), and email or Zoom elsewhere. Regional personal meetings are at my normal consulting rates, and the time is portal to portal.
Contact me and tell me briefly about your Copy Editing needs. I’ll respond promptly.
Special Note: Will your manuscript be 100% error-free after copy editing?
Let me quote from the largest independent publisher in the world about this important matter. “Editing, by nature, is a multi-round process; not all errors within the text may be caught within one or two rounds of editing. Most traditionally published books are edited multiple times throughout the book-making process, and even then, it is not uncommon to have a small number of grammatical errors within the book when it goes to print.”
Nevertheless, when you hire me, you will get someone with decades of professional experience willing to carefully do a three-pass edit of your book for an affordable fee. There is always someone who will work cheaper, I suppose. I recently saw someone offering to edit 50,000-word manuscripts for $100, and that is absurd. I offer professional services at low, fair, realistic fees.
Good copy editing helps you communicate with greater precision. I add organization and consistency and eliminate errors in accordance with a particular style. I use the AP Stylebook and The Chicago Manual of Style (latest editions) for footnotes unless you specify others in advance.
A note about proofreading. Many new authors believe that copy editing and proofreading are the same. They are not the same. Copy editing addresses manuscripts, and proofreading addresses proofs. Proofreading is not a “final edit” and you should never let a proofreader make editorial changes. Think twice before you work with anyone who says they are an “editor/proofreader.” Professional editors know the difference and do not claim to do both.