copy editing

Copy editing enables you to publish your book with confidence and pride.

I help you achieve clarity by verifying that your manuscript is correct and concise. Raise your book to a professional standard with independent copy editing.


How to Get Professional Work at an Affordable Price

Editing in the self-publishing/Indie publishing era is a challenge for most authors. Mainline, traditional publishers often send a book through waves of editing. It takes a lot of time and money. It’s not unusual for a traditional publisher to spend $25,000, or sometimes far more, in editing costs. Yet, it is still common to see errors, including typos, in books produced by the biggest and best traditional publishers.

copy editing

Since this is true, what can a self-published author expect when they want to produce the best book possible on a tiny budget? This is the best answer: Provide a complete manuscript, one that you may have revised several times (your best and final effort), and give it to a competent, experienced, professional copy editor willing to work at modest fees as I do.

An Ounce of Prevention

Too often, major problems emerge in the copy-editing stage. Authors want to do another round of revision after copy editing. That gets expensive since a copy editor does not keep editing a changing manuscript for one fee. If you are unsure if your book is ready for the final step of copy editing, you should invest in Developmental/Substantive editing.  This assessment enables you to receive insight into the status of your manuscript, and make final revisions before copy editing starts. I offer a copy editing discount to clients who engage me to do their Developmental/Substantive editing.


No charge for a 3-page sample copy edit of your book. See my expert work for yourself before you hire me. Contact me here.


Copy Editing: What I Check and Correct to Enhance Your Writing

My goal is to strengthen your prose when I copy-edit your book. As I edit:

  • I’ll substitute weak words, phrases, and sentences with compelling alternatives.
  • I do not “re-write” your book, but I do offer alternatives for your consideration.
  • With the Microsoft Word “Review” function, you are able to reverse any edits you wish. I use Microsoft Word exclusively for copy editing.

Do you use Scrivener or another word processor?  No problem. Export to the “doc” format.  However, you lose the ability to see and reverse edits easily.

Your work will be more focused and have greater clarity when I have completed my copy editing. Your voice will be more vibrant. Your book will then be ready for typesetting and subsequent review of the proof by others.

I help perfect your manuscript by reviewing and improving grammar, punctuation, and spelling.  Here’s a partial list of the things I check and correct when I do the line editing of your book:

• Basic sentence and paragraph construction
• Spelling correctness and consistency
• Proper noun usage
• Reduce adverb usage
• Delete repeated words
• Eliminate repeated phrases
• Correct misused words
• Check similar words (like to, too, two and there, their, they’re)
• Eliminate or reduce redundancies
• Consistent bullet/list formatting
• Check for acronym consistency
• Consistent use of compound words
• Reduce run-on sentences
• Reduce passive voice
• Reduce parenthetical phrases
• Consistent heading/subheading formatting
• Proper formatting of book, movie and other titles
• Check for common typos
• Consistent capitalization
• Consistent use of numbers (1-9 are words, 10 above are numbers)
• Quote style (straight or curly)
• Proper use of em and en dashes and hyphens
• Reduce exclamation mark usage
• Proper use of period and ellipse marks
• Close open brackets and quotes
• Eliminate double spaces after periods
• Make dialog tags consistent
• Correct other relevant issues. Clarity is the ultimate goal.

This is my final work product for the copy editing fee.  Sometimes authors want to rewrite or polish their manuscript after I edit it, and that requires a second round of copy editing. Re-editing a revised draft attracts an extra fee.

Contact me and tell me about your book.


Copy editing your “best and final” book manuscript. Up to 40,000 words, a flat fee of $775. Add 2.2 cents per word beyond 40,000 words based on Microsoft Word word count.

Example for a 60,000-word book: $775  for the first 40,000 words + .022 cents x additional 20,000 words = $1,215.

There are never any hidden charges. Once we agree on the fee, there will be no surprise increases unless you request material changes. In that case, I will provide you with a quote in advance of doing the extra work you request and you can decide if you want to proceed.

All fees are payable in advance by Credit Card or PayPal. Since I allocate time for your job and reject other projects, there is no refund. By engaging my services you agree to those terms. Copy editing has many subjective elements, and clients acknowledge that by engaging my services.

I have a near-perfect history of client satisfaction and I want you to be among that group. I want to edit your next book too, so your satisfaction is important to me. 

Completion time is usually 7-10 business days after I receive your manuscript. Once I have an opportunity to view your complete manuscript I’ll be able to give you a firm delivery date. I work remotely from Southern California and maintain contact by phone (US), and email or Skype elsewhere. Regional personal meetings are at my normal consulting rates, and the time is portal to portal.

No charge for a 3-page sample edit of your book. See my expert work for yourself before you hire me. Contact me here. 

What Others Say

copy editing endorsements


Will your manuscript be error-free after editing?

A note about proofreading. Many new authors believe that copy editing and proofreading are the same. They are not the same. Copy editing addresses manuscripts, proofreading addresses proofs. Proofreading is not a “final edit” and you should never let a proofreader make editorial changes. Think twice before you work with anyone who says they are an “editor/proofreader.” Professional editors know the difference and do not claim to do both

Let me quote from the largest independent publisher in the world about this important matter. “Editing, by nature, is a multi-round process; not all errors within the text may be caught within one or two rounds of editing. Most traditionally published books are edited multiple times throughout the book-making process, and even then, it is not uncommon to have a small number of grammatical errors within the book when it goes to print.” 

Nevertheless, when you hire me, you will get someone with decades of professional experience willing to carefully do a three-pass edit of your book for an affordable fee. There is always someone who will work cheaper, I suppose. I recently saw someone offering to edit  50,000-word manuscripts for $100, and that is absurd. I offer professional services at low, fair, realistic fees.

Good copy editing helps you communicate with greater precision.  I add organization, consistency and eliminate errors in accordance with a particular style. I use the AP Stylebook and for footnotes The Chicago Manual of Style (latest editions) unless you specify others in advance.

Contact me and tell me about your book.