Copy editing & Proofreading services

Copy Editing and Other Editorial Services

I have been working as a writer, rewriter, editor, copy-editor and proofreader for more than 23 years, firstly in-house at the BBC and since 1995 on freelance copy editing projects.

For written work to impress, it needs to be clearly worded and error-free. Whether it’s advertising copy, an essay, a novel, a “how-to” book, or a travel guide, someone reading it may be confused – or even annoyed – by ambiguous sentences, factual inaccuracies, or the classic misplaced apostrophe. Many people are naturally creative writers, but nevertheless their work still requires a second pair of eyes to make sure it reads as they intended. As a writer of books and articles myself, I have first-hand knowledge of all stages of the publishing process from conception to copy editing to final publication and understand the need of writers for their work to be treated with respect by an editor.

Get the best out of your writing

My aim is to help you present your written work well, so that whatever your aim with it, your manuscript will stand more of a chance of being taken seriously. Publishers reading the first draft of a book may not expect perfection in the structure, but they will expect to be able to understand it. And perhaps even more importantly, they will treat the work with more respect if you have made the effort to avoid spelling and punctuation mistakes, poor grammar or ambiguity. Similarly, advertising material that is full of such errors will fail to impress, and potential customers may be discouraged from doing business with you.

Copy-editing involves correcting spelling, punctuation, grammar, and sometimes rearranging the words for clarity. It does not involve extensive amendments to the text but if you think you may require that, I can also work with you to edit work so that it is clearer, more concise and more appealing to readers. It’s clearly important in such cases that I don’t alter the sense of the text but sometimes the meaning of a sentence may be obscured by an awkward turn of phrase or a clichéd remark. In such circumstances, I will rewrite the passage and allow you to compare it with the original so that you can make sure that it says what you want it to say!

Proofreading is the task carried out after the text has been copy-edited. It is the final check for punctuation, grammar and spelling mistakes, making sure that the published text is in good order. I am a trained proofreader, both electronically (Microsoft Word files) and on hard copy, using the BSI proofreading symbols.


My experience

While at the BBC, I worked on copy editing transcripts of radio broadcasts from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union for a daily publication. The transcripts were monitored and translated often by people whose first language was not English. I thus needed to develop skills to recognise idiomatic problems and general issues relating to grammar and word order that are inevitable in translated work. Much of my freelance copy editing has been on texts translated from German, Dutch and French.

I have worked for many publishers, including HarperCollins, John Wiley and Sons, Hodder Education, Marabout, and Hachette. I also often work for translation agencies, editing material originally published elsewhere in Europe, and now translated into English for publication in Britain or the United States. I have also worked for individuals, particularly students on dissertations.



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