Copy Editing

Correction plus edits for clarity, flow, and conformity to style

Copy editing usually follows an editor’s thorough line edit and the author’s final revision. By the time a manuscript reaches copy editing, the content should be solid, with no macro issues (e.g., plot discrepancies, time line issues, confusing structure, etc.). The copy edit’s primary focus is not only on correcting mechanics/formatting and ensuring internal consistency, but also on correcting any other perceived flaws that undermine the manuscript’s effectiveness.

A copy edit will do the following:

  • correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and other mechanics
  • improve syntax, usage, parallel construction, pronoun referents, and other matters of clarity
  • standardize indents, line spacing, page numbering, and other formatting
  • ensure proper use of foreign words, Latin abbreviations, quotations, and other style matters according to The Chicago Manual of Style (or other specified style guide, if agreed on beforehand)
  • point out any remaining issues that would benefit from further author attention

If your plan is to seek traditional publication, a copy edit is usually sufficient correction prior to submitting the manuscript to agents. If you’re a self-publishing author, copy editing is the last hands-on editing prior to layout and typesetting.

Standard rate of $.016 per word, subject to adjustment as appropriate based on scope and depth of editing required.

Varies based on length of material to be edited, but typically no more than 5 weeks.

To request a quote, make a submission, or request more information

Please visit our online welcome center, email us at, or call us at (520) 546-9992.

What happens next?

All inquiries to The Editorial Department will be personally fielded by author services director Ross Browne, who will do the following:

  • confirm receipt of your materials
  • gather any further information needed
  • do a no-cost/no-obligation preliminary review, to get a feel for which editor(s) and service(s) best fit your project’s needs
  • provide a written quote with price and turnaround time for any recommended services
  • answer any questions about recommended options or possible alternatives
  • schedule your project with the assigned editor, if you decide to move forward
  • explain and finalize the appropriate billing arrangements
  • provide a firm delivery date and keep you updated on our progress, as appropriate
  • deliver your feedback or editing to you once it’s ready
  • arrange for follow up with your editor by phone or email, once you have reviewed your feedback and/or editing
  • advise on next steps, and schedule reviews of new drafts if requested

Privacy & Confidentiality

We have utmost respect for our clients’ privacy concerns and will never sell, share, or disseminate your contact information. We will treat all materials supplied to us as confidential.

Formal nondisclosure agreements are not required but are available on request. More info is available here.

“If you imagine, all the while while you’re copy-editing, that your manuscript is the work of a slipshod and possibly feeble-minded soul,  you’ll find it easy to adopt the most effective copy-editing attitude: suspicion. Go slow and question everything.”

Judith Appelbaum