Manuscript Editing, Proofreading, Assessments
You only have seconds to grab your reader’s attention.
As a qualified professional, I can help polish and shape your words.
Fiction and Non-Fiction Book Editing
Are you considering submitting your novel, memoir or self-help book to an agent or publisher? Before you do, you need to be aware of how much the industry has changed in recent times. No longer do publishers overlook sub-standard writing to get to an amazing story or ‘voice’. No, in these days of tight publishing budgets, and with the advent of writing courses and digital training, authors are expected to produce error-free, succinct manuscripts of an ever-increasing standard. Even self-publishing authors are subject to brutal online critiques, which can destroy their chances of making sales or achieving ratings on Amazon. Here’s where I can help:
Cost effective feedback before editing. Beta readers are intelligent, avid readers who provide constructive criticism and logical feedback to authors – basically a review of what worked (or didn’t) for them as a reader (not a professional editor). Read more about Beta Reading
Having a manuscript assessment (aka appraisal or critique) is one of the smarter choices a writer can make before proceeding with editing or proofreading. An assessment is a chance for you to have fresh eyes on your plot, structure and character development. Flaws, inconsistencies, loose ends, plot holes, lack of pace and tension can be so easy to miss when you have spent months racking your brain for clarity and creativity. My assessment service provides a summarised report for full manuscripts, outlining the strengths and weakness of your work. The process starts with a first read-through, then I put the manuscript aside for a week to let it settle in my mind. Then I carefully go through chapter by chapter and summarise what’s working and what’s not, studying the pace, the plot, voice, the character arcs and story arcs.
If you are unsure of which type of edit your manuscript needs, an assessment is the best starting point.
Developmental Editing (aka Structural Editing)
This edit is a deeper version of an assessment: it concentrates on the story arc, plot, characters, voice and pace – all core ingredients of a good book. First I read through the whole manuscript to let it settle in my mind. Then I go through page by page, paragraph by paragraph, and note in detail what’s working and what’s not, while providing suggestions on how to fix issues. If you haven’t had your manuscript workshopped chapter by chapter, I strongly recommend a developmental edit as it will save you a lot of time and energy if you decide portions need to be rewritten. Even the most talented writers redraft their manuscripts several times before submitting to a publisher.
Copyediting (includes Line Editing)
Copyediting is the art of correcting grammar, spelling and punctuation, deleting redundancies and improving sentence structure/syntax. It also strengthens vocabulary, reduces wordiness and overuse of adverbs, plus resolves incorrect word usage. Copyediting improves the overall pace and clarity of your writing by rearranging sentences and paragraphs (if necessary) for an enhanced read. For works of non-fiction it also takes into account effective language, basic fact checking and consistency in layout.
I understand that a writer’s work is personal. My goal is to respect your writing style and the overall tone of your work. I will only suggest substantive revisions if necessary for the success of your project.
*Copyediting does not involve structural edits or a first read through, I work through the manuscript once only, from start to finish.
*Fact checking is general knowledge only, anything more intensive will be flagged for the author to attend to.
*Whilst I do my best to flag any defamation or copyright issues, it is the author’s sole responsibility to seek legal advice for any text that may give rise to defamation, copyright or misinformation issues. By booking my services, the author agrees to indemnify the AJC Publishing against any legal action that may arise in this regard.
*My editing is based on the Australian Style Manual (ASM), which may differ from other countries, such as the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) used for American editing.
When you feel your work is ready to show, there’s one final step you need to take: proofreading. This service puts the polish on your words, picking up any overlooked glitches. Proofreading takes into account grammar, punctuation and spelling. Sentence structure should be substantially correct at this point, but I will advise of any oversights, or touches I feel will lift your work to the next level. Never submit, publish or print any material before having an independent professional proofread your work. Read my proofreading tips. (If you would prefer a fresh pair of eyes on your manuscript, rather than mine, I can refer you to a professional colleague.)
Tip: will your manuscript be 100% error free?
Probably not. While editors may strive for perfection, it might surprise you to know that within the publishing industry, a 95% error-free rate is considered an acceptable standard. We do our best, we’re not perfect, but your manuscript will be in a much better condition by the end of the process.
Some things to consider:
– Editors are not perfect and don’t claim to be.
– Sometimes what you perceive as an error might be a style choice.
– Introducing errors is considered a far worse sin.
How much does it cost?
See my rates page