Copyediting & Proofreading Services
We can help you eliminate errors from your manuscript. Send us your work for a full quote now.
Copyediting involves correcting your manuscript to eliminate errors, such as spelling mistakes, punctuation errors and typos.
But a good copy-editor is more than simply an error-correction service. Your editor should help ensure that your material is well-organised and properly presented; that any factual issues are identified and queried; that any inconsistency or vagueness is eliminated; and that, in general, you have an independent and expert eye looking over the detail and style of your manuscript.
- If your first language is not English, then a good copyeditor can ensure that your text looks and sounds right to a native speaker.
- If you are intending to self-publish, copyediting is more or less essential if you want to create a really professional product. Gone are the days when self-publishers could succeed with amateurishly presented manuscripts.
- If you are a native speaker with good presentational skills, you probably don't need to spend anything on copyediting. For one thing, you'll get far more value from structural editing (ie: feedback on plot, prose, character, pacing and much else besides). For another, literary agents won't care about a few typos as long as the underlying manuscript is excellent. If you want help on manuscript presentation, go here. If you want structural editorial help, then we offer the best such editing in the UK: go here for more details.
We can help you achieve a clean, well-presented manuscript suitable for submission to a publisher or agent.
Our editors are professional authors as well as copyeditors, so your editor will be exceptionally well-qualified: you won't just get someone who knows the rules of grammar, but somebody who will cast a tactful, constructive and intelligent eye over your entire text.
- To get a quote: just email us the full text of your manuscript and we'll get straight back to you with a price.
- View our editors: Our full editor list can be found here. We will choose someone who is right for you and your particular project.
- Get help with literary agents: We're not just copyeditors, we are incredibly well-connected with literary agents and publishers. (View our connections.) If we read your work and we think it is strong enough to be marketed, then we'll help with that too and free of charge: it's all part of our service. Read more about our successes and client testimonials.
What copyediting won't do
Copyediting is the last major stage of manuscript tidying, prior to publication. It's a tidying-up job, not a reconstruction job. In particular, copyeditors will NOT address major plot issues, sort out your pacing, pick up faults in characterisation and so on.
If you haven't yet had editorial feedback from a professional third party editor, we would suggest that you almost certainly need those services before you need copyediting. We offer that kind of help too - and you can get it here.
I don't know if I should get my work edited or copyedited first.
If in doubt, always come to us for regular editorial feedback first. If you're still unsure, just ask.
What do you charge for copyediting?
Our standard fee for copyediting is £8.50 per thousand words, though we need to quote on a project by project basis as the amount of work involved can vary. To get a quote, please send us your manuscript by email, and we'll be straight back to you with a price. On the whole, you'll find our rates are much cheaper than those advertised elsewhere on the web.
How do we arrange payment, if I accept your quote?
Easy. You simply pay online or post us a cheque, payable to the Writers' Workshop. Our address is:
The Writers' Workshop
The Studio, Sheep Street, Charlbury
Oxfordshire OX7 3PH
Alternatively, we can take payment by Visa / Mastercard. Please just call us on 0345 459 9560 to arrange card payment.
Copyediting vs Proofreading: what's the difference?
A text goes through three editorial stages on its way to print. Those are:
- Structural editorial feedback. That's where an editor gives you constructive advice on plot, character, style and much else. It's by far the most important stage for any writer. (Get feedback on your work here.)
- Copy editing. Only once all the big things - plot, character, pacing, etc - are perfect does a copy editor get involved. The copy editor's job is to fix points of detail: it's always structure first, detail second - just as you would always plaster a wall before attempting to wallpaper it.
- Proof-reading. When a text has been finalised, it will be sent off for type-setting: the process of creating final page proofs which will show the text exactly as it will appear in the finished book. A proof reader's job is to make sure that those page proofs accurately reflect the final text, free of any machine or human error. Proof-reading is often handled by a book's original copy-editor and the distinction between the two processes is often confused by those unaware of the technicalities.
Curious about how copyeditors work? If you want to see a guide to traditional copyeditors' marks, you can do so here or here, though be aware that most copyediting these days is done electronically as a boring Word markup. If you want to see our guide to the final stages of an authors' own editing process, you can find it here, including actual examples from a text heading through to publication.