What Type of Editorial Service Does Your Project Need?
Each project is unique, so contact me today and we can discuss yours in detail. I usually request a sample of your material — 2,000 words or less — to evaluate and edit. From this sample, I will determine an estimate for the time, cost, and scope of work, and you'll get a preview my editing applied to your project.
I strongly value collaboration with all of my clients. I prefer to use editing software that allows my edits and comments to show (such as Microsoft Word with Track Changes ON) so that you remain in control of your content.
Following are some general descriptions of editing services that I perform. These descriptions may help you determine what services your project needs.
A look at the big picture and overall structure of a manuscript, website, or project. A developmental edit includes the following tasks:
- Assess premise, outline, or early draft to help you develop material from its initial concept
- Make suggestions to improve content organization, storyline, plot, or character development, as well as style, message, voice, or underlying premise of the work
- Write, rewrite, and research as needed (for instance, to incorporate or smooth out transitions between chapters or paragraphs)
- Review other essential elements of the material, such as:
- The level of writing for your intended audience
- A consistent and bias-free tone of voice
SUBSTANTIVE (OR "LINE" EDITING)
After the larger storyline and organizational issues have been resolved, substantive editing addresses writing style and language at the paragraph, sentence, or word level.
A line edit examines text for clarity, accuracy, and flow. Specific tasks may include:
- Flagging or rewriting sentences to fix faulty logic or smooth transitions
- Changing language from vague or unclear to understandable and precise
- Ensuring language consistently conveys the intended atmosphere or emotion
- Correcting passive sentences to active
- Checking sentence length and structure
- Reducing wordiness to improve comprehension or interest
- Incorporating query responses, suggestions, and comments
Copyediting fine-tunes your work with a technical, rule-based review according to a stylebook (such as Chicago Manual of Style or Associated Press Stylebook) or your own unique style guide and American English standards. Though copyediting is technically under the "mechanical" umbrella, I will flag issues with organization or plot development that I notice, however that type of review is not my primary focus in a copyedit.
Specifically, copyediting corrects or flags apparent errors or inconsistencies with the following:
- Compliance with particular editorial style guide or manual
- Spelling, grammar, punctuation, hyphenation, abbreviation, capitalization
- Style, structure, overall format
- Content agreement with table of contents, references, figures, and other features
- Overall clarity
- Light fact-checking to confirm spelling of real people, places, and things
- Checking links on websites
I estimate the cost and scope of copyediting services based on a "basic" or "heavy" level.
- Is usually appropriate for content that has passed through at least one or more editorial levels of review
- Corrects all indisputable errors
- Flags sentences that seem wordy, imprecise or inconsistent
- Finds faulty organization and gaps in logic
- Performs light fact checking to confirm the spelling of real people, places, and things
- Checks for broken links on websites
- Can include light substantive editing to rewrite or suggest revised wording
- Queries or fixes faulty organization and gaps in logic
- Performs more or in-depth fact checking
A proofread is separate from a copyedit, and is a final review before publication to look for any leftover copyediting issues, stray typos, or formatting errors. Proofreading should also happen after any type of file conversion to catch errors inadvertently introduced while converting text, such as bad line breaks, widows, orphans, etc.