Getting published is a difficult process for any author, and the first part of my job is helping you work out what your book actually needs. I'll start by doing a free sample edit (up to 1,000 words) to kick off the conversation – it will also give you the chance to see my work (you can find an example edit below).

Editing

 

I offer a combination line and copyedit which allows greater efficiency and flexibility depending on what your book needs. It's a sentence-level edit that makes sure the text is clear and enjoyable to read and that all the elements are consistent. Ideally, your novel should already have had some sort of "bigger-picture" developmental edit. These are some of the things I look at:

  • Sentence structure – the text should flow well

  • Clarity of meaning

  • Lexis – do your words have the right level of impact or nuance?

  • Grammar, spelling and punctuation

  • Dialogue – is it realistic? Are those tags a help or a hindrance?

  • Consistency – Josh had blond hair on page 12, but on page 27 it's auburn

  • Fact checking – both "real world" and within the context of your world-building

  • Consistent style – do you love or loathe Oxford commas? Is it 6:15 am or 6.15 a.m.? "Realise" or "realize"?

I will also provide you with a custom stylesheet for your reference, which proofreaders or publishers can use in further checks.

This is a real example of a short story that I've edited. In this case, the structure was already sound and the writer had a developed, consistent voice, so I focused on nuance of meaning and style.

Proofreading

 

This is the very last stage of the editorial process, and by now your book will at the very least have been line and copyedited. At this point there shouldn't be any significant structural changes – it's a final polish. These are the things I'll be looking out for:

  • Typos

  • Grammar and punctuation errors

  • Essential facts and internal consistency

"If you're looking for a top-notch editor ... then look no further. It has been my pleasure to work with Toby on several projects, and as always he never fails to deliver timely, professional work. You couldn't want a better editor, whether it's a proofread or an in-depth critique. I look forward to working with Toby again and recommend him 110%!"

© 2019 by Toby Selwyn

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