I offer proofreading and copyediting services, either separately or combined.
This is a service for people who are completely happy with the structure and content of their work but need it checked for errors and consistency before publication. It does not include any factual checking or advice on structure, vocabulary choice or repetition.
Proofreading includes checking spelling, grammar and punctuation, for both accuracy and consistency (e.g. use of the ‘Oxford’ comma or –ise/-ize spellings). Chapter titles and headings will be cross-checked with any contents lists, and elements such as font size and style, indentations and line breaks will be checked. It does not include typesetting for final publication.
The purpose of copyediting is to ensure that the material to be published is accurate, fit for purpose and easy to understand. The service includes checking for repetition, ambiguity, factual correctness and potential liability. The structure of the work is scrutinised and changes to the length or order of sections may be recommended.
Copyediting goes far beyond proofreading in terms of checking for consistency, and is not limited to features of language and layout. For example, in a work of fiction, attention is drawn to any inconsistencies in character description or behaviour, and the service includes a focus on elements such as continuity and period detail. Other types of writing have different requirements, and for an academic work there would be a focus on ensuring an appropriate level of formality in both vocabulary and structure while at the same time avoiding the use of jargon.
Copyediting and proofreading combined
Ideally, copyediting and proofreading should be done separately. Following the copyediting process, the author makes the required changes and then the final version can be proofread. However, constraints of time and budget often mean that authors need the whole thing to be done at once, so a combined service is offered. If this service is chosen it needs to be borne in mind that any changes made after copyediting will not have been subjected to a final proofread, so there is a greater risk of errors remaining in the final work.