A good story is nothing without correct spelling, grammar, attention to detail and description. Like all good tradesmen, the modern-day writer needs a number of essential tools to see the job done properly: a computer, word-processing software, and last but not least… The Book Specialist. Their responsive, reliable, professional attitude will certainly get you the finished product you desire.Zachary Black, author of Body Bags and Shallow Graves
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BOOK COPY EDITORThe Book Specialist's copy-editing clients range from authors to fiction and non-fiction publishers, and the aim for all clients is simple: to polish language to a publishable standard – whether it's for self-publishing or to impress agents/publishers.
Each Book Specialist copy editor is experienced and expert at tidying text in US or UK English to ensure accuracy, consistency, clarity and sense.
Our copy editors are sensitive in their corrections and constructive in their suggestions. Each copy editor knows which changes are essential, which are preferred and which are simply a matter of taste. We see no reason for a copy editor to be unnecessarily pedantic and interfere with an author's creativity. The job of a copy editor isn't to trample on writing style, but to encourage, improve and advise.
WHY HIRE A BOOK COPY EDITOR? Very few authors do not require the services of a book copy editor to tidy their manuscript. That's why every publishing house sends each author's manuscript through a copy editor before publication.
If your book (ebook or print) is to be clear, accessible, interesting, memorable and effective, the language needs to be of a good standard. Some authors need only minimal support, while others need more intensive copy-editing; but all authors, no matter how experienced or skilled, can benefit from a copy editor's input.
THE COPY-EDITING SERVICE Copy-editing is essentially language editing. The level of intervention that a book copy editor undertakes depends on the state of the material. Copy-editing varies in scope, from light editing to improve the odd clumsy sentence through to more comprehensive support to polish the text. All copy-editing is carried out using the Track Changes feature of Microsoft Word, which allows the author to accept or reject the editor's changes as preferred, thereby keeping control of the material.
Please note: The Book Specialist copy-editing service does not involve bigger-picture work, such as restructuring or rewriting, commenting on development issues and giving opinions on the book's potential. If you require higher-level editorial support, look at the intelligent copy-editing, development editing and book critiquing services.
WHERE COPY-EDITING SITS IN THE PROCESSThe basic process in a publishing house works as follows: Book critique / development edit > Copy-edit > Proofread. Sometimes the process includes several rounds of each stage. Ideally, you commission a copy-edit after getting some development input and before a final proofread. For more information on putting together an editorial package to suit you, see the Packages page.
COPY-EDITING VERSUS PROOFREADING Copy-editing is a big step up from proofreading. While a proofreader focuses solely on accuracy and consistency of spelling, punctuation and grammar, a copy editor also works on style to ensure logical, clear, flowing text.
All publishing houses use both a copy editor and a proofreader to ready a book for publication. Ideally, the services are performed by two different editors. Book Specialist editors copy-edit to a high standard. But we do recommend a final proofread following a copy-edit, especially if you have changed any text following the copy-edit.
Some people try to skip the copy-editing stage in the editorial process, and go straight to hiring a proofreader. Remember, proofreading is the final check of the book before publication to catch the odd mistake that remains. If the book is in great shape, sticking to a proofread is fine. But if the book contains plenty of mistakes, you need copy-editing. If you're not sure which service you need, send over an extract and we can let you know.
PLAIN ENGLISH COPY-EDITING
In addition to regular copy-editing, our editors can carry out a specialised copy-editing service that ensures all text is in plain English. Plain English strips writing down to the minimum, and looks to ensure simplicity, clarity, brevity, and direct and active phrasing. For example, It was decided by him, while perusing the wares at what they call a 'supermarket', to omit purchasing the fruit called banana becomes At the supermarket he decided not to buy bananas.
Plain English copy-editing is a service to consider if you want to be abundantly clear in your meaning and create text that the reader easily understands. It's popular with public-facing companies, charities and government bodies, and is ideal for non-fiction writing.
To get a feel for The Book Specialist copy-editing services, take a look at this copy-editing example. On request, we will perform a free 500-word sample copy-edit on the extract sent over, so that you get a feel for the service.
BOOK COPY-EDITING TERMS
Copy-editing usually costs £9.50 per 1,000 words ($15.50). Standard turnaround ranges from two to six weeks, depending on the length of the material. We offer an express service, for an increased fee, if required.