What is copyediting?
Definitions of copyediting vary between industries, countries and professional bodies. I've been trained by the UK's Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP), so I work according to their definition.
editing for spelling, grammar, syntax, and punctuation
checking for consistency within the text (including character voice and plot continuity in works of fiction, and factual inconsistencies in non-fiction)
editing at the sentence level, for readability and flow
keeping the text consistent with the publisher's house style (or helping you create a house style, if you're an indie creator or publisher without one)
ensuring the tone of the work is appropriate for the intended audience and consistent throughout (while preserving the voice of the author)
making sure typesetting codes (or Word/Libre/Docs heading styles) are applied correctly and consistently
catching instances of offensive language that may have been missed by a sensitivity reader
drawing attention to sections that require additional context, or where key details have been omitted
flagging up possible factual errors based on my own general knowledge
improving the structure and organisation of the work (e.g. by using lists and chapter headings to break up the text)
Some publishers and creators prefer to split up these duties between a copyeditor and a separate 'line editor'. The CIEP don't make a distinction between copyediting and line editing, but if you do, just let me know which aspects of the edit you'd like me to focus on and I'll be happy to accommodate.
Copyediting does not include:
In-depth fact-checking or research
A critical perspective on your narrative/argument/game mechanics
Sensitivity reading (although I do also offer that service!)
Working With Me
In order to get the best out of my work, it would be helpful if you could provide a brief (a description of the work that needs doing) in your initial email. This will help me to judge whether the job is within my remit, and to structure my work appropriately if you hire me. Some things I need to know are:
Are there any issues you've identified that you would like me to focus on?
Does your work include tables, figures, or illustrations that need to be checked against the text?
Do you have references or footnotes that you need to be checked against the text?
Do you need me to indicate style elements for your typesetter, and if so, should I do so using codes or Word styles?
How would you like me to provide comments and queries? (e.g. in comment boxes, or as a list in a separate document?)
What style guide would you prefer, and do you need me to apply it rigidly? (If you don't have a preference, I will prioritise consistency within the work, and refer to the New Oxford Style Manual where there's ambiguity).
If you're not sure what you need, that's okay! Just let me know, and we can discuss what would be best for you.
My rate and time estimate will vary depending on word count and the details of the work required, but I'm aware that money can be tight for indie creators and marginalised people, so I'm willing to consider payment plans.
I have experience working in Microsoft Word, Libre Office, and Google Docs, and will use Word/Libre's Track Changes or Google Docs' Suggesting mode to suggest edits so you can easily approve or reject them as needed.
Get in touch at email@example.com
"The edits [Rowan] made were fantastic for clarity, grammar and structure of the piece... would definitely use their services again." – Hazel Dixon, Creative Lead at Bobbit Worm Games and co-writer of Accessibility in Online Larp