What is Copy Editing?

Copy editing means ensuring that text is correct in terms of spelling, grammar and punctuation but goes further than proofreading.

A copy editor strives to ensure that a text has been written clearly and concisely and that your ideas are expressed in a way that the reader can easily understand. A good copy editor works with you to make sure that your text is the best it can be and will suggest ways to achieve this.

The role of a copy editor is defined differently by individual companies or publishing houses but I personally will check your document for:

• Spelling, punctuation and grammar
• Clarity, looking at the content, flow and readability
• Sense and meaning
• Suitability for the target audience
• Sentence structure and paragraph length
• Superfluous words and repetition
• Consistency in font sizes, headings and page numbering
• House style (if provided by the client)

Examples of just a few of the books I have worked on as a copy editor include My Crazy Days as a Young offender by Justin Rollins, Creating a Kick-Ass Attitude by E. Carolina Quevedo, Daffy – the autobiography of Phil DeFreitas, The Ultimate Dad’s Army Quiz Book, The Sci-fi and Television Book, Kenny Ball’s and John Bennett’s Musical Skylarks, England’s World Cup Story and The Greatest Football Quiz Book.

My usual method of working is to mark-up amendments in a MS Word document using track changes but I am happy to work in the way that best suits you. If preferred, I can mark-up PDFs or work from hard copy (printed material) marking changes in red. I am also familiar with British Standard proofreading symbols.

I can also provide you with a brief critique outlining any areas that are unclear and making suggestions for improvements or amendments.