What is it?
An intensive sentence-level edit in Microsoft Word using Word’s Tracked Changes to show in-text edits and the Comments facility to leave queries and suggestions for you to make improvements. Depending on your requirements, this can range from a light edit to a more intensive line edit.
Who’s it for?
Independent authors who are confident that all the big-picture elements of your novel are in place, for example, plot, structure and characterisation. You are now at the stage where you have self-edited as far as you can and are looking for a professional edit to prepare your novel for publication.
What it involves
I will carefully go through your manuscript word by word, line by line to ensure sentences are clear, correct and consistent, and, if necessary, I will make suggestions on improving flow so they express your intended meaning while staying true to your authorship.
- Standard spelling, grammar and punctuation
- Consistency in style of spelling, hyphenation and capitalisation
- Punctuation of dialogue
- Switching between POV, accidental tense changes
- Plot details/timelines
- Over-repetition of words/sentence structure
- Appropriate word choice and make suggestions on improved vocabulary
- Sentence structure for improved flow and sentence order to ensure logic
You can download a comprehensive list of included elements along with the process here.
What I won’t do is impose arbitrary rules. I always work to the author’s individual style and that of the novel. If you write in US English but don’t use the serial comma, that’s okay. If you write in British English and your preferred style is to use double quotation marks and em dashes as parenthesis, that’s also fine. I will only edit or suggest an edit to improve readability.
Each project is assessed on an individual basis. For an idea of fees charged please check out the case studies on my pricing page.
What you get
At the end of the project, you will receive three files:
- File 1 displaying all the edits I’ve made using Track Changes and all the Comments. This shows you everything I’ve done.
- File 2 displaying only the Comments: all the edits have been accepted. This means you can easily find any queries without being distracted by edits made within the text. (I always suggest going through the Comments file first as it will be the least overwhelming and then you can compare against the tracked file.)
- A Style Sheet – a quick reference guide recording your preferences in spelling and punctuation, as well as the most important editorial and stylistic decisions I’ve made.
How it works
Tell me a bit about your novel
Send me a short sample of your manuscript (usually of around 2000 words). If I think I’m a good fit, I will conduct a sample edit and return it with a quote for the total fee, the length of time I think the project will take, and when I can fit it into my schedule.
Agree to work together
If you are happy to proceed, I will send you a Project Agreement outlining the project terms which will include a section for you to add any spelling/punctuation preferences you may have, along with my standard terms and conditions. I will request a 30% deposit of the total fee to secure a place in my schedule.
Making a start
You will need to send me your entire manuscript in Microsoft Word before the agreed date. On completion, I will return two copies of the edited manuscript and the Style Sheet.
Review the edits
Once you’ve gone through the edited manuscript and accepted or rejected the edits as desired, reply to the queries/suggestions I’ve left using the Comment boxes, then return your final version to me within one week for a final check.
I’ll make any last edits in response to your answers as a result of my suggestions/comments. (However, if, at this point, you wish to make additional edits, these would need to be treated as a new project.)
I’ll return the final clean manuscript, a sign-off/feedback form along with an invoice for the balancing payment.
PARTICULARLY IMPRESSED … THANKS A MILLION!
Very pleased that you found these goofs before the book got published. I would have been embarrassed had these slipped through. Particularly impressed with not just the number but also the variety of edits – you found more typos that I would have guessed, plus edits for spelling, usage, missing words, punctuation, transposition, inconsistency, and – a fun one – continuity. Thanks a million!
– D BOATMAN, CRIME WRITER
If you think I could be the right editor for you, then please drop me an email and we can talk about your project and what your needs might be.