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In a nutshell…

Copyediting is about getting down to the very nitty-gritty of a piece of written text, then remoulding, sprucing and polishing every word. No stone is left unturned; every nook and cranny is interrogated. The result: the piece of text, or copy, becomes the best it possibly can be.

I provide a one-to-one service where I work with you, the author, to make your copy shine like a new penny.

How does it work?

Copyediting involves working closely with the author to achieve the desired result. That is an important distinction to make: the job of the copyeditor is not to act as an arbitrary quality-checker, policing your work to point out what is inaccurate and then leaving it to the author to fix.

A good copyeditor works in collaboration with the author, highlighting ways to improve what is being said, and never imposes a rule such as ‘no split infinitives!’ without discussing it with the author. The best authors and editors work together in partnership with a shared goal: to make the copy at hand the best it possibly can be. A copyeditor who tells you what to do rather than suggests what to do is not worth their salt.

What does it involve?

Copyediting generally involves, but is not limited to, the following work:

  • Checking for correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and formatting
  • Checking for factual inaccuracies
  • Improving the text’s readability and making sure it is clear and easy to read (this might involve rearranging sentences or paragraphs, or making a sentence simpler and more lucid, but always retaining the author’s ‘voice’)
  • Targeting the right audience (any piece of written work intended for publication has a target audience in mind. A copyeditor ensures the text is suited to this audience, which could involve making the piece sound more formal or informal, or making sure acronyms can be understood)
  • House-styling (if the author/publisher has a house style to abide by, such as emphasised words being in bold rather than italicised, or numbers being written in words rather than figures, the copyeditor will make sure this is applied consistently throughout the piece)
  • Checking tables and captions (if a piece of work involves a graph or table, these will be checked for consistency and sense)
  • Checking footnotes and cross-references (the copyeditor will ensure these make sense and that the reader would be able to follow them easily)
  • Checking headers, footers, tables of contents, appendices, indices, bibliographies, title pages, and anything else that may need to go into the document to make it function as it should.

Read my blog article on copyediting to find out more about what goes on behind the scenes in the copyediting process.

What texts do you work with?

When it comes to copyediting, nothing is out of bounds. An editor is needed everywhere the written word appears. In today’s web-based world there’s arguably more written text being sent out into the public domain than ever – anything that is written and is intended to be read by an audience will benefit from a professional edit.

The kind of texts I can edit includes but is not limited to:

  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Articles (print or web)
  • Reports
  • Newsletters
  • Letters
  • Brochures and leaflets
  • Website content
  • Adverts
  • Manuals
  • Packaging

No editing job is too big or too small. I can work with you on one paragraph to go on your website, or on the entire manuscript of a full-length novel.

Contact Sally at Write Sense Media to learn more.