THE PROCESS

how a copyedit, a line edit, and a proofread works

1. Manuscript

Once we've ironed out the schedule and contract (see The Business Stuff for details) and I've received your deposit, I'll be watching for your manuscript. Preferred method is through email, but we can also discuss other options (e.g., Google Drive, Dropbox).

2. Editing

Here’s where I bring the polish to your hard work. I will edit your manuscript using Word’s Track Changes feature, so you can see every change I make. I will leave comments in the manuscript with suggestions and to explain changes in your document where necessary. Note: Microsoft Word is the preferred format, but we can discuss Google Docs or PDF if needed.

See the services section for details on what a copyedit, a line edit, and a proofread focuses on.

3. Style Sheet (Copyedit or Line Edit Only)

If you’re receiving a copyedit or a line edit, I will create a style sheet, which is a record of editorial changes and decisions made across the manuscript. This includes proper nouns, unique words, and hyphenation choices. In fiction, it includes character descriptions as well. This helps to ensure consistency in your book/series (editors like to say that it helps ensure that a character’s eyes aren’t blue on page 4 and brown on page 50).

4. Editorial Memo

Before I send you your edited manuscript, I will write an editorial memo outlining changes that I made in the document, as well as any strengths and opportunities I noticed in the manuscript.

5. Deliverables

When the work is complete, I will send you the editorial memo, your custom style sheet (excluded for a proofread), and two versions of your manuscript. One version will be marked up with every change I made, and all comment boxes showing. The second version will be the clean version with all changes accepted and only comments remaining.

6. Your Revision

To be frank, this part can sometimes be painful. But it’s also where growth can occur. You will read through the edited manuscript and either accept or reject the changes made. You can consider my commented suggestions and opt to accept or reject each of those. This is your work; if you don’t agree with a suggestion, you don’t have to follow it. But I always keep your readers and your voice in mind, and I often suggest more than one way to sort an issue out.

7. Moving On

If you’ve received a copyedit or a line edit, your manuscript is ready to move on to the next stage: proofreading.

If you’ve received a proofread, your book will be ready to send to a typesetter or designer.

Ready to move forward?