Line and Copy-Editing

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

I will check your manuscript for errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling. As well as that, I make sure readers don’t stumble over awkward sentences or misinterpret ambiguous phrases.

Issues addressed in a line and copy-edit

Line and copy-editing helps make sure a manuscript is professionally presented. It’s a form of editorial quality control. 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

Why choose Liminal Pages for line and copy-editing?

Invisible Improvements

Editing is known as the invisible art. My job is to smooth out the writing, not inject my own style into it. The 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.

Experienced

I’ve been working in the publishing industry for 10+ years, have worked with many publishing houses and self-publishing authors, and have edited over a hundred novels.

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

Here’s how it works

  1. Request an edit

    Request a line and copy-edit by filling out the form below, attaching a sample of your writing. I’ll then email you a questionnaire so I can make sure a) the manuscript is ready for this service and b) I’m the right editor for the job.

  2. Book me in

    If I think I’m the right editor for you, I’ll send you a quote. Once you accept the quote, I’ll send you an invoice for a 50% deposit. Your place in my schedule is secured as soon as the deposit is paid. Send over the full manuscript before the project start date.

  3. Receive your edited manuscript

    I’ll meticulously edit the novel using Tracked Changes and the Comments features of Word. When I send over the 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 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

Things you might be wondering …

When should I commission a line and copy-edit?

Once you are completely happy with the overall story and have written and revised the manuscript to the absolute best of your ability. There should be no more rewriting at this stage. If you want broader guidance on your novel, I recommend first commissioning a manuscript critique or a full developmental edit.

I’m an author planning to submit my novel to agents. Do I need a line and copy-edit?

If you’re going to submit your novel to agents or publishers, I generally don’t recommend having your manuscript line and copy-edited – the publisher will have this done for you. However, it’s up to you if you’re happy to invest in making your writing super-clean before you submit.

Will the 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 Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading 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 helps improve the writing – as well as catch as many pesky errors as possible.

What if I just need a proofread?

Line and copy-editing aims to catch as many errors as possible, which is probably what you’re looking for. Technically, a proofread is the final check done on pages that have already been edited and typeset (designed). A proofreader looks for errors that have slipped through the cracks.

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

Request a line and copy-edit

Tell me a little about your novel, and send me a sample of at least 5000 words from somewhere in the middle of your manuscript. If I think I can help, I’ll provide you with a tailored quote. (Fees range from £10 to £20 per 1000 words.)