What is Copyediting?

There are a lot of different terms under the editing umbrella. Developmental editing, content editing, line editing, copyediting. The list goes on. Copyediting focuses on the words rather than on the story elements. I can’t let a plot hole slip by without comment, however, so those kinds of things are included in my service, but my primary focus is on copyediting—fixing the words and the punctuation. Line editing is really just a heavy copyedit, which is why the price I list at the bottom of this page is a range. Copyediting includes:


Story Level

  • Basic fact-checking
  • Plot consistency
  • Character consistency

Paragraph Level

  • Repetition
  • Speaker/action consistency
  • Pacing

Sentence Level

  • Punctuation
  • Grammar
  • Misplaced modifiers

Word Level

  • Spelling
  • Hyphenation
  • Word usage

Styling Consistency

  • Italicization
  • Ellipses
  • Quotation marks


  • Remove tabs
  • Remove extra spaces
  • Remove extra line breaks

Copyediting Process

Free Sample

For new clients only: In order to see if we’re a good match, I offer a free sample edit of your work, between 1000 and 1500 words (less for short stories and novellas).


If you like my sample edit and decide you’d like to work with me, we’ll discuss scheduling to find a time slot that works for us both.

Quote & Contract

Once we’ve secured a time slot, I’ll send you a quote with a plain-English contract that outlines terms that protect both your interests and mine.

First Invoice

After you accept the quote and contract terms, I’ll send an invoice for a deposit of 50% of the total cost of the project. Payment of this deposit indicates your acceptance of the contract terms and is due before the edit begins.

Send Manuscript 1.0

Once you send your deposit, it’s time to send me your manuscript. I can accept manuscripts through a variety of methods, including email, Box.com, or Dropbox.com. See my About Me page for more on confidentiality and my editing standards.

First Pass

The first pass can take anywhere from two to four weeks from the start date that we’ve agreed upon, depending on the length of the manuscript and the amount of work needed. I edit with Track Changes enabled, so you’ll be able to clearly see the changes I’ve made.

Custom Style Sheet

During my first pass, I will create a custom style sheet for your manuscript, detailing characters, proper nouns, locations, and unique words. This is especially helpful with series.

Delivery of Files

When I’ve completed the first pass, I will send you:

  1. Track Changes version.
  2. Clean version (all changes accepted and only comments remaining).
  3. Your custom style sheet.

Final Invoice

The bulk of the work is done during the first pass, so along with your files, I’ll send you a final invoice for the remaining 50% of the total price. This invoice is due upon receipt of the first-pass files.

Accept/Reject Changes

Now it’s time for you to read through the manuscript and either accept or reject changes. Click here for a short video tutorial on Track Changes.

Address Queries

You will find any queries I have in comment boxes. I may suggest some minor rewrites, so please make sure Track Changes is enabled so that I will be able to easily identify any changes you’ve made.

Send Manuscript 2.0

Once you’ve gone over all the changes and comments, you will then send the manuscript back to me for a final check. I call this a “half pass.”

Half Pass

Sometimes, editing can introduce errors that weren’t there before. The “half pass” is a final check to make sure the changes were implemented as intended and no new errors were introduced.

Final Files and Receipt

After the half pass, I’ll send your final files (tracked and clean) along with a “paid in full” receipt for your records. Remember, editing fees are tax deductions for independent authors.

Did You Book a Proofread?

When I’ve personally copyedited your manuscript, I guarantee the lowest price on my proofreading fee scale. If you’ve booked a proofread as part of a package, your manuscript will now go to my second proofreader.


$0.012 – $0.02

per word

I use “per word” pricing, since this is the easiest to calculate, and it leaves little room for misunderstanding. Costs for copyediting vary, depending on the level of work the manuscript requires. My final quote will be based on a sample of your manuscript. Use the calculator on the right to get an idea of the price range I will quote you for.

Ready to book your project?

Whether you're ready to book now or just want to discuss your project and get a free sample edit or proofread of your work, click the button below to get started!