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Copy editing is the process of taking a text that is ready to be published in terms of story and structure and polishing it up. This involves checking the grammar and phrasing as well as the punctuation, spelling, layout, and so on, so it’s polished and ready to submit. If writing a book is like building a house, then the copy edit is the painting and decorating.
Copy editing is suitable for authors who have a text they are absolutely confident in and where only surface-level changes are needed, so it should only be done at the end-point of the writing process. If you think your text may need further changes then either make these yourself before you order a copy edit or check out one of the other packages below. Getting back to the house analogy, there is no point doing the painting until all the walls are built!
Line editing involves the editor working very closely with a manuscript on a line-by-line basis. This means looking less at the big picture of the text and more at immediate language at the sentence level. In this way, it works as a fine-tuning of the details of the text.
Similarly to copy editing, line editing involves editing for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax. But there are also further suggestions made with regard to sentence structure and word choice.
In doing this, line edits go beyond the copy edit to examine tone, style, and consistency of language across the text rather than mere accuracy and correctness. For example, character dialogue may be examined with a view to maintaining each character’s narrative integrity.
Though a line edit is not a proofread and should be done before a proofread, a full proofread is also included in this package. The text is gone through at least twice, once for the line edit, which is given to you to act on, and once for the proofread after you return it to us.
Content editing, also known as structural editing, is a very involved form of editing that keeps the big picture of the book always in focus even when highlighting the type of details that are covered in line editing. As part of our content edit, we will examine the structure of your book, looking at plot, character development, and so on. This ensures the foundations of your story are solid enough.
For fiction, we will look at plot, its logic, and any gaps that may be present. Tension, pacing, and characterisation will also be examined carefully. For non-fiction, e.g. biography, we will focus strongly on your voice and its expression, again checking for consistency and authenticity.
The content edit is initiated before the line edit and the editor will work closely with you to make sure any suggestions for major changes are run by you before the text is completed. It may be that there will be gaps in the work process as you and the editor send the manuscript back and forth. For authors who are not completely sure their work is up to publishing standard, this can be a very useful way of gaining some much needed clarity on their text.
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