I’ve seen too many entrepreneurial types toss their rushed, unedited books onto Kindle in the hope it’ll cement their position as an authority in their industry, and maybe bring in a nice, steady flow of cash.
Instead, they end up looking silly and unprofessional with a glut of 1-star reviews, or are just plain ignored, because their book suffers from one or more of the following:
- Too many typos = careless and unprofessional.
- Too formal = boring and unfriendly.
- Too self-congratulatory = arrogant and unlikeable.
- Too jargon-stuffed = incomprehensible and unrelatable.
- Too much hyperbole = disingenuous and annoying.
I’m here to help you avoid these pitfalls and come across as trustworthy, likeable, and authoritative – somebody people would want to work with or buy from. I’ll do this by, well… let’s just get into it, shall we?
How I’ll improve your book.
When I copyedit your book, I’ll do all the standard stuff – fixing spelling and punctuation, smoothing grammar, ensuring consistency throughout. I’m talking ‘if you’ve used the wrong sort of dash, you’d better believe I’m going to fix that’ levels of pedantic.
But ensuring your manuscript is written correctly, coherently and consistently is just one half of what I do. I realise learning to write in an engaging way may not be your priority as an entrepreneur, so I’ll also ensure your writing is as powerful and compelling as possible by tightening it up, using stronger words, and more.
Here’s what all this looks like in real terms:
- Correcting spelling, punctuation and grammar (in either British or US English)
- Tidying up the formatting (goodbye, double spaces after full stops)
- Removing redundant words (I can almost guarantee the biggest offender will be ‘that’)
- Keeping your tense and point of view straight
- Replacing incorrect words (happens to the best of us)
- Addressing cliches, jargon, stereotyping, and janky metaphors
- Untangling ambiguous wording
- Altering repeated words (unless you did it on purpose)
- Improving the flow of sentences (so they don’t sound too stilted or flat)
- Softening overly formal, stiff and unfriendly phrasing
- Recommending more striking word choices (e.g. ‘shove’ instead of ‘push hard’)
- Weeding out filtering and distancing words (‘but I saw something looming in the darkness’ becomes ‘but something loomed in the darkness’)
- Formatting dialogue correctly and removing unnecessary tags (if it’s obvious who’s speaking, you don’t always need them)
- Fixing inconsistencies (‘Jake’ won’t become ‘Jack’ midway through that analogy you made)
- Reining in the overwritten and purple prose
- Decimating crutch words, so only a few instances remain (one of mine is ‘just’)
- Culling exclamation marks, probably
I spoke with the designer – his wife is a trained proofreader and always spots something, but not in your case.
He said you even spotted things only printers spot (something to do with dashes… it was over my head for sure). Anyway, I thought you might like to know how highly rated your work is 🙂
–Giles Ruck, CEO at Foundation Scotland
What this service will not help you with.
My book copyediting service is for after you have completely finished your manuscript. That means there’ll be no restructuring, no rewriting, and definitely no starting over, either during this edit or after it. I MEAN IT. Put that red pen away. Or better yet, give it to me.
Look, I’m trying to help you out here. It would be pointless and a waste of money to have your book copyedited, only to go back and change things afterwards. The intention is for your manuscript to be publishable once I’m done with it.
Ideally you’ll already have edited multiple drafts yourself, the latter ones based on feedback from beta readers, a writing partner or a developmental editor. I can still help if you haven’t done any of that, but it may fall under the remit of my more expensive business editing service.
How will this work?
1. Email me!
If you read this page and thought, Hmm, yes, I would like this person to edit my book, she sounds fabulous, or something roughly equivalent to that, get in touch with me using the info at the bottom of this page. I know you’re probably scouting around trying to find the best editor for you, so there’ll be no pressure to hire me.
(I can’t always start work on an edit immediately, so I’m happy to schedule you in further down the line, even if you’re still finalising your manuscript. As long it’s ready by the scheduled date, it’s all good.)
2. A sample edit
Before we decide anything, I’ll conduct a sample edit of around 500 words. This’ll help make sure we’re a good fit for each other, and that this is the correct service for your book.
3. Administrative shenanigans
Assuming we choose to work together, I’ll put together a deposit invoice and a simple agreement for us to sign. The invoice will be for 50% of the total cost, and your edit won’t be fixed in my calendar until it’s paid. The remaining amount will be due on completion. (If your manuscript is on the longer side or 50% feels tricky to swing, we can talk about different payment plans.)
4. The full edit
The edit will most likely take 1–3 weeks (dependent on word count) and consist of:
- Tracking changes
I’ll conduct your edit in MS Word, using Track Changes. This means all your original text will still be there, and you can reinstate it with the click of a button if you want. Naturally I would advise against this, but in the end it’s your book and you get the final say. I’ll send you two copies of your edited manuscript: one showing all the changes, and one ‘clean’ version with the changes already implemented.
I’ll also include commentary with the Comment function. This may include explaining changes I’ve made, offering suggestions for changes instead of directly making them myself, and highlighting things that commonly need changing so you can be more aware of them in your future writing. If the mood strikes, I may also bless your manuscript with quips and gushing praise. No need to thank me.
- Intermittent questions
Prepare to be on call for the duration of your edit, because I may get in touch to ask questions, particularly if there’s something that keeps cropping up and I need to know how you’d prefer me to handle it. In order to finish your edit on time, I’ll need you to answer these questions promptly.
5. Follow-up and final invoice
Once your edit is complete, you’ll have a week in which to ask me any follow-up questions. After that, I’ll send over the final invoice, which will be due within 14 days.
How much will this cost?
Price: £0.03/word (minimum 17,500 words).
Multiply your word count by 0.03 to get your total in GBP. A 50,000-word book would be £1,500.
If your manuscript doesn’t hit the minimum word count, or needs structural fixes or an excessive amount of grammatical corrections – too many to make £0.030 per word a feasible fee for me – I may suggest my business editing service instead.
Hey, you made it to the end! I’ll take that as a good sign.
If you’d like to work with me on your book, or think you might, you can either shoot me an email at email@example.com or fill in this form.