Copyediting: grammar and mechanics
More science than art, the copyedit takes on grammar and mechanics. The grammar review fixes errors related to subject–verb agreement, pronoun–antecedent agreement, and verb tense. Of course, all dangling modifiers will be rescued. Editing for mechanics is where the edit goes granular:
- punctuation — commas, dashes, hyphens, parentheses, ellipses, quotation marks
- capitalization and abbreviation — proper vs. common nouns, sentence case vs. title case subheads
- spelling and usage — typos, misspellings, homonymns, and commonly confused words such as imply vs. infer
A copyedit also flags or cleans up inaccuracies related to dates, names, and titles of all kinds; checks for missing elements such as captions or headings; and generally aims for consistent editorial style as per the applicable style manual, whether The Associated Press Stylebook, The Chicago Manual of Style, or The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style. If needed, I can format source citations according to one of Chicago’s two systems of source citation. Please advise if using a different system.
This type of edit does not include substantive (content) editing, rewriting, or fact checking.
$0.05/word (five cents)
Proofreading: the last review
This final review before publication scrutinizes proofs for erroneous spacing; finds any typographical errors previously missed or newly generated; and checks fonts, line/page breaks, and other formatting issues.
As Tucker Max of Scribe Media says, “You should always have your manuscript copyedited before it goes to layout, and then always have your book professionally formatted before it goes to a proofreader.”
$0.02/word (two cents)
Editing method: electronic, using Word’s change-tracking and commenting features or PDF annotating tools
Rush service: a rush fee may apply for a turnaround requested within 3 business days
Minimum fee: $40