Did you know that there are several different types of editing? It can be really confusing, so here’s a quick description of the services I offer and what each type of editing involves.
I hope this will help you determine which type of editing your work needs.
Proofreading: Typo Taming
Proofreading is the least involved type of editing (meaning it takes the shortest amount of time to do), and it should be the last step before publication. When I proofread, I read through the final version of the text (which, ideally, has already been copy edited) and I correct errors in spelling, grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and word usage. I also check for consistency in the formatting, table of contents, etc. No major changes should be made to the text during the proofreading stage.
It may sound like I’m saying that proofreading is not important, or that it can be skipped if you’re short on time or money. Please don’t misunderstand me; that is definitely not the case. Proofreading may be the least involved type of editing, but it is at least as important as developmental or copy editing — and may be even more important.
As your proofreader, I am your last line of defense against typos and other mistakes that are so easy to make, but terribly embarrassing when they make it to print.
Copy (or Line) Editing: Where the Magic Happens
Copy editing involves elements of proofreading, but it goes much deeper. In addition to making the usual corrections (of errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and usage), I also catch redundancies and inconsistencies in the text. I reword sentences (when necessary) to ensure clarity and accuracy. I streamline clunky or awkward phrasing. I remove or explain technical jargon, and I break the “curse of knowledge” to make sure your readers understand and enjoy what you write. I seek and destroy (or at least ask you about) any phrasing that might distract the reader or have unintentional connotations. I make sure that your writing conforms to your chosen style guide (or the style guide we create together).
In short, I help you say what you mean to say in the clearest and most impactful way. And I do all this polishing and refining without losing your voice as a writer.
Developmental (or Substantive) Editing: The Big Picture
Developmental editing focuses on the text as a whole — rather than the details of each sentence or word — and is the first step you should take after finishing your manuscript. Developmental editing is the most labor-intensive type of editing, and developmental editors are usually involved with book-length projects. A developmental editor looks for inconsistencies or problems with the plot, characters, setting, tone, or the sequence of the text, and gives you suggestions on how to improve your manuscript. It’s important to select a developmental editor whom you trust and get along with, because there will likely be a lot of back-and-forth regarding the revisions that should be made. Your developmental editor may suggest a partial (or total) rewrite.
I don’t currently offer developmental or substantive editing services, but I would be more than happy to refer you to trusted professionals who do offer these services.
The Nuts and Bolts (Payment Terms)
There is a $40 minimum fee to engage my services. This means that if your document is 1500 words or less, it will cost $40 (in most cases) for me to edit or proofread it. This pricing may change depending on the nature and scope of the project. Free sample edits are not available for projects under 6000 words, although you should still send me the document when you contact me.
If your project is more than 1500 words long, please send me part of the project for a free sample edit and a customized quote.
If the project must be completed as quickly as possible, a priority fee will apply.
Have more questions? I’ve got answers.