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Copy editing for self-publishers

Help for writers

Why self-publishers (and other authors) need it

Do you want your book to be properly published? There's no reason why a self-publisher shouldn't have as good a chance of finding an audience as an author whose book is coming out from a publisher. But what really lets their work down is if it hasn't been professionally copy edited. Effectively a self-publisher who goes ahead without copy editing is just publishing a manuscript, a work-in-progress which readers will react against because of all the errors.

For a writer who is submitting their work to agents and publishers, it's still worth considering copy editing as this will show your work in its best light. It is the publisher's job to get manuscripts copy edited before they publish them, but you have to get to the publishing stage first and if your manuscript seems illiterate it is not going to impress anyone.

It's easy to think that you can get a literate friend to check through your work. That will certainly improve it but someone who hasn't been trained and doesn't have any experience of working as a professional copy editor will miss too many errors.

You might also feel that you can copy edit your own work, but it's really hard to see your own mistakes, because after all you made them in the first place, when you were trying to write as well as you could. It would be good to think that writers can successfully copy edit their own work but it's extremely difficult to do this well.

Copy editing is relatively expensive because it involves many hours of focused work by a professional editor. The cost is directly related to the state of the manuscript - something in poor shape will simply take longer because there will be more corrections.

If you are not a native English speaker then you may have particular problems with sentence structure and use of words, so for this we've come up with a special service called Manuscript Polishing, which involves correcting the English where necessary whilst copy editing the work.

If you're a bit hazy about the difference between copy editing and proof-reading, see this article.

If you want your book copy edited in American English, rather than English English, you have only to say.

And if you want to learn from the experience of having your work copy edited - and be sure that the editor has done a good job! - WritersServices copy editing service provides two versions of your manuscript as standard, one showing what has been done in track changes and the other with the changes accepted. Unless you're familiar with track changes, we'd advise you to use the version with the changes accepted, as it can otherwise be easy to reintroduce errors.

Copy editing service

Getting your manuscript copy edited

Manuscript polishing service

Writer's edit service

Services for self-publishers

Proof-reading service

Which service?

Inside Publishing on Copy editing and Proof-reading