My Copy Editor
A Professional Copyediting and Proofreading Service
I would love to talk with you about your project, to get specific info so I can give you specific answers. Until then, here's a general picture of what I do for authors like yourself.
Because I'm working on your "baby" and you don't know me from Adam (or Eve) yet, I usually start out doing only proofreading, putting my corrections and suggestions in red ink (on hard copy), or using Track Changes on electronic copy, whichever you're comfortable with. I understand that you probably want to see what I can do before giving me full rein to copyedit without showing you my intended changes first.
But even if you want me to edit copy from the start, I'll include any questions and suggestions in red (I use Track Changes, unless you request otherwise) when I want your feedback or if I think a section or graph needs special attention. I'll also coach you by phone, especially on developing your piece. If you're stuck, you'll often break through to a new level of clarity as we talk about your work.
I'm painstaking and detail-oriented, and not just with grammar, punctuation and spelling. Other things that annoy readers are when website links don't work, quotations are inaccurate or misattributed, characters or plot threads go awry, or when book titles and people's names are misspelled. I verify everything, which has saved many an author's face from having egg on it! I treat your manuscript (and your future readers) as priceless, which they are. I keep the specifics confidential prior to publication, unless and until I'm given permission to talk about them. And our correspondence will be confidential always.
Most folks forward their documents to me by email, and we work back and forth electronically. Some send me a hard copy to mark up. And occasionally authors give me handwritten manuscripts. With those, I type up the document as written, spiff up the spelling, grammar and presentation, then email or snail-mail it to them. They make any changes, then return it to me for proofing and copyediting.
I grew up with English being taught, corrected, dissected, and analyzed at home as well as at school -- my father was a professor of English, Journalism, and Speech, and Mom was a Registered Nurse with a passion equal to Dad's for languages and books. I began catching errors in Dad's students' exams when I was about 10, which immediately got me the first of many freelance jobs: proofreading the college's yearbooks, student directories and other publications for pay.
My degrees are in English and Elementary Education. For 13 years, I was an Editor at The Dallas Morning News. After that, I ran my own business for 11 years and wrote the copy for the ads, website, radio commercials, pamphlets, and business forms.
I sold the company in 2001 and moved to Austin. But throughout all those decades, authors asked me to copyedit and/or proofread their writings.
My fee is $60/hour, but once I've put in 30 hours on a project the rate drops to $54/hour. Students and those in Education get 10% off the non-rush rate from the start.
If it's a rush job -- i.e., something you must have completed in seven days or less -- the fee is $90/hour. Students and those in Education get a small discount on rush jobs.
I do three read-throughs of your work. In the first read-through, I may make a few marks, but mostly I'm tuning in to your style, the "voice" of the book, your characters and/or message. In the second read-through, I mark typos, punctuation and grammar errors, questionable passages and places that "clunk." I also note my suggestions about rewriting, further development, etc. And I double-check all statistics, references, names, places, websites, quotations, etc. Then I set the writing aside for at least a day, if possible. When I come back to it fresh, I do a final check of my edits and verify that your "voice" is true from beginning to end.
After that, I send you the material to revise. And we repeat the process for as many revisions as necessary.
Do you have a blog? Need help with spelling and getting your point across without losing your unique "voice"? I offer a sliding scale for editing blogs. The more blogs I edit per month, the greater your savings.
And there you have it. Did I answer your questions, or provoke more? I'm easiest to reach by email, but if you'd like to talk, phone me at 512.495.9550.
I look forward to hearing more about your project.