Copyediting and Proofreading
"Copyediting" is a term with numerous interpretations. It is often used interchangeably—and incorrectly—with "proofreading." The use of a service agreement, required of every consultant in this network, will clearly define the services offered and the limitations of that consultant (e.g., a developmental editor may not offer "proofreading" services) and will contain a nondisclosure clause.
Definition of COPY EDITOR*:
- an editor who prepares copy for the typesetter
- one who edits and headlines newspaper copy
— copy·ed·it transitive verb
Copyediting may include checking for:
- general grammar, word choice, sentence structure, and clarity
- tenses, wordiness, repetition, parallel structure
- punctuation, capitalization, spelling, headings and lists
- appropriate voice and tone for intended audience
- transitions between sections, chapters, parts
- adherence to editorial guidelines
- accuracy of cross-references
- subject-verb agreement
- pronoun-antecedent agreement
- appropriate use of modifiers
- slang/vernacular and sexist language
- proper and/or consistent font/typeface
- proper use of trademarks
- accuracy of glossary, cross-references, footnotes, and index
- proper use of abbreviations and acronyms
- proper use of numbers and symbols
- quotation mark errors, missing parentheses, wrong number of ellipsis points
- figures and tables mentioned in previous text
- running heads, footers, and page numbers
- errors in continuity
- formatting per style guide and/or template
- line, page, and section breaks
- proper appearance of graphics and illustrations
- accuracy of table of contents and formatting of levels
- appendixes in correct order
- bibliography/references/glossary terms are complete and properly alphabetized
- final pagination
Copyediting usually does not include:
- rewriting (which may be part of a developmental edit)
- checking for plagiarism
- ensuring the accuracy of text, graphics, tables, illustrations, and (sometimes) the accuracy of references/bibliography/index/glossary
- final proofreading before submission or publication.
It is common for writers/subsequent reviewers to introduce errors when adding or rewriting material. A final proofread checks for typographical and formatting errors.
The service agreement you have with your copy editor should specify the scope and limitations of services. Proofreading (e.g., for typos) may or may not be included in the scope of services.
: to read and mark corrections in (as a proof)
Examples of PROOFREAD
- He proofread the essay carefully.
Definition of PROOFREADER
: a person who proofreads
Copy Editors and Proofreaders
SARAH ANDERSON is a freelance editor and writer, experienced in fiction and nonfiction. Her work has been called outstanding, and she was solely responsible for editing the three most successful romances published by Banbury Books and distributed by Dell. Her recent nonfiction projects include A Loving Guide to These Shifting Times and Biography of A Time Traveler: the Man behind the 2012 Phenomenon. Recent fiction projects include The Apprentice and Sisters of War. Sarah is an acknowledged contributor to The Wisdom of The Enneagram, published by Bantam. She has self-published a relationships handbook, Relationships Made Easy: How to get along with all kinds of people, and has written articles on the psychology of personality.
Clients are particularly impressed by her ability to make their text sparkle while maintaining their voice. She is flexible, personable, and highly proficient. As one client noted,
Sarah is clearly a gifted, disciplined editor. It was obvious that she took great care to preserve my voice, and not to change meaning when structure needed adjusting. Her art is subtle - at first glance, I wondered what she'd done . . . but the changes added power, conviction, and flow to my thoughts. I am so glad I found my way to Sarah!
- Line editing
- Developmental editing
Genres: women's fiction, literary fiction, memoir, biographies, religion, new age, spirituality, inspiration, self-help, how-to
Substantive editing, copyediting, rewriting
Fiction and nonfiction: literary, how-to, psychology, self-help, crime fiction, adult, young adult, drama, fantasy, sci-fi, true crime, international relations, current affairs, nature and science, military history, forensic science, travel
MICHAEL CARR has edited or copyedited 300+ fiction and nonfiction titles for major publishers and authors. Notable nonfiction authors include Bernard Goldberg (NY Times best-seller Arrogance), CNN anchor Lou Dobbs (Exporting America), Rev. Al Sharpton (Al on America), and CNN Crossfire host Tucker Carlson (Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites). Michael edits most fiction genres but specializes in literary and historical, crime/mystery, drama, fantasy, and science fiction.
Notable fiction authors include Brad Meltzer (#3 NY Times best-seller The Zero Game), NY Times Notable Book of the Year author Archer Mayor (The Surrogate Thief, Gatekeeper, The Second Mouse), crime grandmaster Donald Westlake (the Dortmunder series), and the fantasy master Michael Moorcock (The White Wolf's Son).
Michael has also edited eight published volumes on world affairs and some twenty self-help books (medical, psychological, personal growth, and business) and has translated a dozen novels and other literary works from Spanish to English.
Rosanne's love of the written word began with her passion for books, but her knowledge of punctuation, grammar, diction and style comes from a lifetime of exceptional training. A poet herself, Rosanne understands the blood, sweat and tears that go into writing.
She gives each author's work the care it deserves, drawing on her diverse life experiences and knowledge in many fields like period clothing, genetics, all aspects of theater, Celtic legends, rustic camping, the martial arts, architecture and languages (Latin, French, Anglo-Saxon, Middle English, a little Welsh and Japanese).
Add that to the marketplace savvy she learned working in publishing houses, and you have an experienced editor who can polish a manuscript and get it past that crucial first reader!
- Copyediting, developmental editing
- Children's/young adult
- Science fiction and fantasy
- Christian, inspirational
MARLO GARNER has been editing books and teaching writing since the late 1990s. She teaches Writing for Children's Books (picture books), Writing Chapter Books for Children, and various other writing and revision workshops. She also works in an editorial advisory capacity, and a copyeditor and illustrator for a number of independent or educational publishers. Her Ginny Giles chapter book series—which contains numerous poems and rhyming verse—was released in 2010, and she is the author and/or illustrator of a number of other published books for children, including a picture book for Internet security giant AVG. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), and received first place in the 'published' division of the New England SCBWI 2013 illustration awards. Marlo is currently writing and illustrating a middle grade dystopian graphic novel as well as a picture book, and she blogs about writing, editing, and grammar.
“Marlo was immensely helpful and pleasant to work with. I knew I had a penned a good story, but her suggested improvements will really help my middle-grade dragon tale connect emotionally with young readers. Thanks to her encouragement and advice, I will be submitting my manuscript and illustrations to agents and editors with far greater confidence." J. C. Stevens
Copyediting & proofreading
Cover letters, query letters (free with contracted service)
Correct formatting & understanding the submission process
Critiques, writing instruction & mentorship
Children's books: picture books, poetry, magazine submissions, chapter books, young adult, children's non-fiction.
Literary fiction, crime, fantasy
Illustration, illustration critiques and advice for aspiring illustrators.
Writing Coach, Mentor, Collaborator, and Ghostwriter Editing Services
Contemporary, Mainstream, Creative Nonfiction, Detective, Erotica, Gay/Lesbian, Literary Fiction, Memoir/Autobiography, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Women’s Fiction, Young Adult
TED GASNER edited hundreds of award-winning fiction and nonfiction titles during his six years as a supervising editor for Scholastic Inc. Ted developed book series for print, eReaders, and websites, then assigned topics to authors, helped them with their outlines and first drafts, and then took over from there to copyedit the final product.
As a freelance editor, Ted has edited novels, memoirs, marketing and advertising materials, textbooks, research papers, websites and whatever else has comes his way. He has a strong background in fiction, history, the sciences, and sports.
Ted specializes in developmental editing, copyediting, line editing, and proofreading. A strong communicator, he works as a team with authors to help them bring out the best of the manuscripts.
"Ted has an amazing ability to boil it down to the best moments in the least amount of words! I really like all the sophistication he brings to the writing. Casual tone but with varying sentence structures that keep it interesting." —Eileen Wacker, author of The Mom’s Code and Once Kids’ Fujimini Adventure Series
"I glanced over the edits – I don’t like them – I LOVE THEM!!! You’re a genius! You really made my girls pop! I had to laugh at a couple of your comments. Great catch about Facebook age appropriateness. So, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all that work! It’s so much red, I feel like a failing kid in seventh grade." -Yvette.
"I’ve had the privilege of working with Ted, and he is a consummate professional. A talented editor with a keen eye for detail, Ted always offers fresh and creative ideas to help strengthen my prose without compromising my voice. If you are looking for a caring, prompt, thorough editor, he is definitely the person to contact. —Lisa Fox, author of Knightly Desire
"I chose Ted Gasner over cheaper proposals because of his sample edit. He was worth every penny as he put MORE into the project than he needed to. Nice quality work and easy to work with." -Don McGann
CAROLINE HILEY specializes in editing novels. She works with independent authors as well as traditional publishers, such as Penguin, HarperCollins, and Little, Brown. She also handles short-form fiction (novellas and short stories) and memoir.
From decades of experience as an editor and compositor, along with her personal experience as a published novelist, Caroline understands the entire writing process from first draft to production. She helps novice and seasoned authors prepare their novels for the real world, including help not only with storycraft but also collateral documents, such as queries and synopses, and grooming files for submission to publishers and self-publishing.
- Substantive editing
- Manuscript evaluation
Her focus in all editing is consistency, accuracy, and clarity, so that authors can successfully connect with their readers.
SARA HOPKINS worked as an editor for Bantam Dell, Random House, Simon & Schuster, Eagle Publishing, My Day magazine, and BowTie Press. She earned a certificate in copyediting from the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
As an in-house editor for Bantam Dell, Random House, and Eagle Publishing, she was responsible for the production of initial hardcover and paperback trade titles, approximately sixty books per year; she continues to work as a contractor for these same publishers. Sara’s fifteen years of experience in both the production and editorial sides of the publishing process has given her the practical knowledge to read manuscripts and identify problems in technical quality, language, and thought, as well as provide positive and useful feedback. She is skilled at pointing out, marking, and correcting mechanical errors and inconsistencies; errors or inappropriate grammar, usage, and syntax; and errors or inconsistencies in content or timeline.
Sara specializes in developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading for fiction and nonfiction manuscripts. She has worked on over two hundred titles and prides herself on her many repeat clients. Nonfiction titles she has worked on include biographies, wellness and fitness (she is a certified yoga instructor), travel, politics, and current events. Her list of fiction books covers nearly every genre from science fiction to erotica but she has a special passion for manuscripts that involve a critical timeline or chronology, fantasy world, or period setting. The devil is in the details, and Sara likes to get in there too, polishing every manuscript without infringing on the author's vision.
Notable books Sara has edited include The Art of Detection and Touchstone by Laurie R. King, Fractured and Beyond Reach by Karin Slaughter, Keeper of the Keys and Sinister Shorts by Perri O'Shaughnessy, The Master of Heathcrest Hall by Galen Beckett, Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and Wisdom of Menopause by Christiane Northrup, The Wisdom of Yoga by Stephen Cope, and Dangerous Games by Keri Arthur.
In addition to developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading, Sara also offers help with book evaluations/critiques and ghostwriting. She is interested in every step of manuscript development and provides an author with concise and constructive feedback to help his or her ideas mature into a refined manuscript, ready for publication.
SANDRA JUDD is an editor, proofreader, and indexer with more than 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Her clients have included university presses, large, mainstream publishers, and smaller presses and professional organizations. She has edited or proofread over 300 published books, on topics that include politics, history, business, literary criticism, ethnic history, anthropology, science and medicine, industry manuals, memoirs, Christian and inspirational, parenting and relationships, humor, and fiction.
She has edited 20+ volumes in the Health Reference Series published by Omnigraphics, all published under her name as editor.
She has also edited professional journals and newsletters, business plans, scholarly articles being prepared for publication, economic plans to be distributed to the state legislature, and a number of dissertations.
She has prepared indexes for more than 30 published books.
She strives for precision in language and is devoted to making the author's voice heard.
- Proofreading and copyediting
- Stylistic editing
- Substantive editing
- Fiction: Thrillers, mysteries, Christian, historical fiction
- Nonfiction: Inspirational, self-help, business, science and medicine, ethnology, history, political science, memoirs, scholarly/textbooks
JEFF is a former English professor, is a consultant, writer, poet and editor of creative nonfiction, biographies/memoirs, novels, short stories, poetry, articles, self-help books, business reports, proposals, dissertations, and theses.
JEFF KARON can provide manuscript evaluation, organizational, developmental, and substantive editing, copyediting andproofreading, and ghostwriting.He can help develop blogs, websites (he is an Adobe Muse expert), and general web content. He will work to see your writing through your eyes, your values, and your needs.
Jeff has helped over one thousand writers from students to professionals for over twenty-five years become powerful writers. He has developed, edited, revised, and proofread novels, essays, stories, poems, articles, reports, theses, dissertations, proposals, and textbooks. His Ph.D. is in English with a specialization in Rhetoric and Composition, a choice that signals his devotion to clarity and power in language. Prior to his years as an English professor, he studied and taught philosophy, critical thinking, and logic, publishing in these fields as well as in literary studies. He also is a published essayist and poet. As an editor and teacher, his mission is aptly summarized by a writer he worked with: "Jeff showed me how beautiful written language can be and reinvigorated in me the writing spirit I had nearly lost." His life-long interest in the martial arts translates into helping writers achieve true power in their writing.
JOHN DAVID KUDRICK (BA in Theology / MA in Journalism—Professional Writing: Fiction).
You're sitting at your computer, smiling, feeling an incredible sense of satisfaction in your heart. After more hours than you can count, you've finally finished your novel – a story from deep within your soul that you want to share with the world.
But then the questions start hitting your mind: Is it the very best that it can be? Will anyone even want to read it? What should I do with it now?
With nearly twenty years of experience as an editor, John David understands the gamut of feelings that comes with getting your novel from your hard drive and into print. That's why he'd love to partner with you in getting your novel to the next level …
- Manuscript Critique – With a detailed evaluation document and annotated comments/suggestions throughout your manuscript, find out how you can make your good book even better.
- Content Editing – Guidance and hands-on editorial help in reorganizing and revising your story to make it even more powerful and engaging. Includes two rounds of editorial review.
- Copyediting – Line-by-line editing to take care of grammar, word usage, tone, format, and more. Includes two rounds of editorial review.
- Proofreading – A final polish to clean up typos, inconsistencies, misspellings, and punctuation problems. Includes two rounds of editorial review.
- Ghostwriting – Crafting of a book-length manuscript using existing material from author. Also includes a follow-up copyedit. (NOTE: Ghostwriting available for Christian living/spirituality book projects only.)
JO-ANN LANGTREE writes and edits books, stories, and articles in the following fields: business, medical, insurance, health, holistic health, spirituality, religion, psychic phenomena, young-adult fiction, children's books, mystical experience, self-help, New Age, nutrition, diet, exercise, saints & masters, gurus, theosophy, Christianity, homeopathy, vitamins & minerals, herbs, and food supplements. She was a writer and editor for Aetna Life & Casualty. As editor of Life NEWS, she had sole responsibility for finding, developing, writing, editing, and proofing all articles. Topics included new products, sales campaigns, insurance-agent interviews, accolades, seminars, Company acquisitions and policies. Jo-Ann also edits personal and business sites.
Editing (copyediting and developmental)
Spirituality, metaphysics, religion, theosophy, psychology, holistic health, food supplements, homeopathy, nutrition, veganism, psychic phenomena, lucid dreaming, mystical experience, self-help, saints, masters, and gurus
HOLLY MONTY, MA MAC ELS
APA format, Chicago Manual of Style
Since operating as a freelance editor and writer, Ms. Monty, a Microsoft Word and LaTeX expert, has worked on books and articles published by many of the world’s leading publishers, including Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, MIT Press, W. W. Norton, Sage, John Wiley, Springer, Lawrence Erlbaum, Pearson-Prentice Hall, Praeger, Greenwood, Blackwell, and other top names in academic and nonfiction publishing. To date, she has edited more than 2,000 published journal articles, more than 150 nonfiction books, and a wealth of dissertations and theses. Ms. Monty is proud to have worked with a diversity of students and academics from a broad range of our nation's universities. Given her wealth of experience, she is adept at working within the precise terms of your university's thesis/dissertation guidelines or with the publication guidelines of any peer-reviewed journal.
"Holly was FANTASTIC. She was SO thorough and submitted everything back to me earlier than I needed it! Even after she was done with the edit, I had some questions, and she was very speedy in her responses. I appreciate that she took time to answer my questions. She really went above and beyond! My paper not only needed to follow APA guidelines, but my university had guidelines as well. She did both perfectly." - Nicole Foster, Trinity International University.
FICTION AND NONFICTION BOOKS, MEMOIRS, THESES, DISSERTATIONS (APA Format)
“James Powell examines the symbols of language the way a biologist examines cells.” New York Times Review of Books
“James Powell assures us that the universe is a silent partner in a dialogue that goes on all the time.” New York Times Review of Books
JAMES N. POWELL is "a good literary surgeon," as one of his accomplished clients noted. As an editor of fiction and non-fiction, he views manuscripts with comprehensive vision and an eye for detail. He will read your fiction with an eye to making it believable and your non-fiction with a knack for making it both convincing and engaging.
His books and short stories have been translated into many languages and are known throughout the world. His list of publications includes The Tao of Symbols (Morrow 1982), Energy and Eros (Morrow 1985), The Prentice Hall Global Employment Guide (Prentice Hall 1983), Mandalas: The Dynamics of Vedic Symbolism (Sterling 1980), Derrida for Beginners (Writers and Readers 1996), Postmodernism for Beginners (Writers and Readers 1998), Eastern Philosophy for Beginners (2000), Deconstruction for Beginners (2005), and Slow Love: A Polynesian Pillow Book (2008).
His short story "The Silence of the Hummingbird" was published in Spanish in Revista Katharsis, in Malaga, Spain, and his journalism has appeared in Spirituality & Health, Tahiti Beach Press, the Santa Barbara Independent, and Montecito Journal.
LINDA TROLLINGER has been a writer and editor for nearly 30 years and has edited thousands of documents for clients around the world.
She is a versatile award-winning copy editor with a diverse array of experience:
- Business and marketing collateral for Kelly Services, Citibank, Bayer, and Fortune 500 companies
- Technical documentation for IBM, Symantec, Dell, Adobe, Seicor, Sybex, and Ventana
- Fiction and nonfiction for published authors, including novels, short stories, poetry, religion, and philosophy
- Academic editing, master's theses, and dissertations
- Website content, business plans, corporate overviews, and resumes
- Developmental editing, substantive editing, copyediting, and proofreading
MARIE VALENTINE's editorial work ranges from conceptual and developmental brainstorming to copy editing and proofreading, as well as the nitty-gritty of print and Web production. She has worked in acquisitions and production for the renowned new age book publisher Llewellyn Worldwide. She has also served as a news editor and writer, business technology editor, poet and small press publisher of experimental works by contemporary writers. Marie will use her knowledge in literature and nonfiction to clarify your thoughts with minimal alteration, but she is also open to experiments and will adapt easily and quickly to your perceived vision and goals. A flexible editor and proofreader with a light touch, Marie will help your prose shine while keeping your personal style intact.
- 10+ years proofreading experience (print, web, digital, books, magazines, news weeklies, chapbooks and more)
- 6 years business and technology editing experience
- 5 years book manuscript editing experience, both fiction and nonfiction
- 4 years publisher acquisitions experience - Ruminator (small press), university press (U of MN), commercial press (Llewellyn). She knows what publishers look for in a book.
- 9 years academic editing and formatting
- Content organization
- Structural and substantive editing
- Formatting and style editing (MLA, Chicago, APA, AP, project-specific)
- Copy editing
* from Webster's