Manuscript Copy Editing

novels, novellas, children’s books, memoirs, self-help, and more

When you are happy with your final draft and ready to fix US English mechanical errors and inconsistencies, it is time to hire a professional copy editor to polish grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, and style consistency.

Every manuscript is unique, but I often see some common mistakes:

  • repeated words (such as “the the”) 

  • homophone errors (such as “peak,” “peek,” and “pique”)

  • missing or unnecessary commas

  • extra spaces

  • incorrect word usage (such as “that” versus “which”)

  • inconsistent spelling of words or names (such as “okay,” “ok,” and “OK”)

  • inconsistent style (especially numbers and the serial comma)

  • run-ons and fragments

  • overcapitalization

  • hyphenation errors

I copy edit fiction and nontechnical nonfiction manuscripts, using Track Changes in Microsoft Word and following The Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. I will also create a style sheet to track your characters, preferences, and creative choices, such as made-up terms or intentional dialogue quirks.

In most cases, I will go through the manuscript twice, first to copy edit and then to review my work. Upon completion, I’ll send the edited file and a clean copy with all changes accepted, although you can certainly reject any of my adjustments—it’s your story. 

Click to see a sample copy edit.

Contact me to discuss your manuscript and editing needs.

“She has now successfully copy-edited three of my manuscripts. I know

I can count on her to find my mistakes. (yes, there are always some!)”

—Barbara T., Novelist

Professional copy editor for your fiction or nonfiction manuscript.