Copy Editing and Proofreading

Thinking about self-publishing or submitting to agents? Why edit?

'But editors are still the world's readers. And thus the eye of the world,' said poet and literary agent Betsy Lerner. Or, as Maxwell Perkins, the renowned editor of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, put it, 'Just get it down on paper, and then we will see what to do with it.' Perkins may have worked at famous New York publishing house Scribner in the first half of the twentieth century, nearly 100 years before self-publishing irrevocably changed the industry, but his words remain true today.

The emergence of online self-publishing in particular has made many a debut author question the role of an editor as that of gatekeeper to the Holy Grail of traditional publishing. But a good editor is so much more than that. A good editor will not only point you in the right direction when you don't know where your plot is going, or save you from making poor style choices, or even iron out problems with your dialogue or characterisation, not to mention spelling and punctuation: a good editor will transform your manuscript from ordinary to extraordinary.

Average Fees

Description Price
Copy-editing - per 1000 words £9.00
Proofreading - per 1000 words £8.30

Our affordable prices can vary according to the amount of work required. For a quote, please send the first 30 pages of your manuscript, together with a short synopsis, to

Copy-editing: There are four types of edits

A developmental edit will help you with your manuscript either in its early stages, based on a sample text and synopsis, or tell you whether the overall concept works based on the entire text. As a first port of call, we recommend our Slush Report at £70.00. Our Reader's Report, from £150.00, is suitable for writers who have already completed their manuscript and require a more in-depth assessment.

A substantive edit is called for when you have completed your manuscript and are more or less happy with it but feel that you may need help with the overall plot, or aspects such as style, dialogue, characterisation etc. Your editor may ask you for clarification on certain points and will suggest alternatives.

A copy-editor checks for correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. They point out inconsistencies and inaccuracies, and may even rewrite a clumsy sentence.

Finally, a proofreader comes in to go through the finished product with a fine-tooth comb to check headings, page numbers, and typeface styles, and make sure that corrections suggested by the copy-editor have been inserted properly.

At a time when self-publishing is more popular than ever, the role of an editor remains invaluable if you want your book to stand out in a crowded market. Make sure it is as good as it can be.