Line and Copy-Editing

Making sure your novel meets high editorial standards, for professional publishing.

Every manuscript needs to be checked for errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling before it’s published. As well as that, you don’t want readers to stumble over awkward sentences or misinterpret ambiguous phrases. That’s why line and copy-editing is much more than just typo-catching.

Issues Addressed in a Line and Copy-Edit

Line and copy-editing amplifies your voice and helps make sure your writing is professionally presented. I’ll address:

  • Errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Ambiguous or confusing phrasing
  • Plot, timeline and character-feature inconsistencies (so Anya’s eyes don’t change colour and she isn’t pregnant for eleven months … unless she’s an alien)
  • Text-based inconsistencies (such as capitalisation and hyphenation)
  • Word choice (suggestions on more powerful or appropriate vocabulary)
  • Sentence structure and sentence order (for flow and logic)
  • Basic point-of-view issues
  • Basic fact-checking (such as brand name spellings and historic dates)
  • Standard manuscript formatting

I’m really glad I chose you to edit this project. Your feedback blows out of the water what I received from my last editor!

Meg Cowley
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Why Choose Liminal Pages for Line and Copy-Editing?

Invisible Improvements

Editing is known as the invisible art. My job is to smooth out your writing, not inject my own style into it. Your manuscript will read like the best version of your work.

Creative Control

I edit using the Tracked Changes feature of Word, so you can see exactly what I’ve done. I also use Comments to explain any more substantial edits I make. Accept or reject any edit.

Trained & Qualified

Anyone can say they’re an editor, but I have in-house experience and lots of training. (See the About page for details.) Your manuscript is in qualified hands.


Before we work together, I ask to see a sample of your writing. If I connect with your style, we can both feel confident that my editorial suggestions will be right for your novel.

Thanks so much for the fantastic job you’ve done. You have dark arts! My story reads so much better now … I’d call it seamless copy-editing, but it’s more like a MIGHTY feat of invisible mending.

Tash Bell
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Okay, So Here’s How It Works

  1. Get a quote

    Fill out the form below (attaching a sample of your writing and a synopsis of your story) so I can get a sense of your novel and the depth of editing it might need. If I think we’d be a good creative fit, I’ll reply with a quote that includes the total fee, how long the edit will take and when I’m available to start working on it.

  2. Book me in

    If you agree to my quote, I’ll send you an invoice for the 50% deposit and a short questionnaire so I can get a better sense of your novel’s editorial requirements (e.g. preferred dictionary, etc.). Your place in my schedule is secured as soon as the deposit is paid. Email me your completed questionnaire and your manuscript before the project start date.

  3. Receive your edited manuscript

    I’ll meticulously edit your novel using Tracked Changes (so you can see every change I suggest) and the Comments feature of Word (to provide explanations or suggestions). When I send over your edited manuscript, I’ll also send you a Style Sheet (a quick-reference document that has all of the most important stylistic editorial decisions in one place) and the final invoice.

  4. Respond to my queries

    I’ll have left a number of queries for you in the manuscript file. Use the Comments feature of Word to respond, then email the file back to me for a final check within two weeks. I’ll do any last tweaks based on your answers to my queries. I’ll then send you the final edited manuscript.

Both stylistically and technically your observations and suggestions were superb. An excellent, comprehensive job – I shall certainly use your services again!

Henry Layte
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Things You Might Be Wondering …

Who needs a line and copy-edit?

In an ideal world, every novel should go through a line and copy-edit before it’s published. If you’re planning to self-publish, a line and copy-edit will help improve the quality of your manuscript. If you’re going to submit your novel to agents/publishers, I generally don’t recommend having your manuscript line and copy-edited – the publisher will have this done for you.

Where does line and copy-editing fit in the publishing process?

Line and copy-editing should only be carried out once you’re completely happy with your story as a whole. There will be no more opportunity for rewriting and redrafting once your manuscript has been submitted for editing! For this reason, this service comes after any big-picture feedback (such as a manuscript critique) but before a proofread.

Will my manuscript be error-free after a line and copy-edit?

Probably not, though that’s always the aim. It’s impossible for every error to be caught in a single pass. The Society for Editors and Proofreaders says: ‘A good copy-editor picks up 80% of errors; a good proofreader picks up 80% of what’s left.’ Remember, though, that a line and copy-edit also helps you improve your writing – as well as catch as many pesky errors as possible.

What if I just want a proofread?

Your manuscript can’t technically be proofread until it’s been edited (and, better still, typeset). If you skip the copy-editing stage, anyone you hire to do a proofread will technically be conducting a copy-edit for you!

REALLY looking forward to working with you again. I love your editing style and your comments are always informative, lovely, and often a boost!

Lorna Reid
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Get a Quote

Prices range from £10 to £20 per thousand words. Fill out the form below, and if I think we’d be a good creative fit I’ll email you a custom no-obligation quote, usually within two working days.