Editing Services

With nine years of being an editor, of which six as a freelancer, will it be an overstatement if I call myself a veteran editor? Titles are mostly inconsequential. I have the skills and the experience. That’s all that matters, isn’t it?

Two books of nonfiction, one of fiction, three academic ones, dozens of eCourses, 60-something academic papers, and lots of website and documentation content. These are what I count among my editing portfolio.

Substantive editing, copy editing, proofreading – whatever level of editing you need, you can count on me. I pride myself on my ability to spot errors anywhere and everywhere. If they paid money for correcting menu cards and road signs, I would be a millionaire!

Having been trained in social sciences, I am very comfortable editing stuff related to any of the disciplines falling into that category. I have edited a large number of courses and assessment tests related to IT (Internet Technology). Other than these, health and nutrition, environment, travel, and religion and spiritualty are my favourites.

I have put together a quick guide on how to decide which level of editing you need. You can specify your editing requirements based on this guide. If you are unable to decide, you can have me take a look at your manuscript and recommend the appropriate level of editing.

 

Levels of editing

Substantive editing

Substantive editing is the most intensive form of editing. It involves using a big picture approach to evaluate a manuscript in terms of the overall structure and coherence of the content. As a substantive editor, I perform some or all of the following tasks (depending upon the needs of the manuscript):

  •     Reorganizing content to improve the flow of ideas.
  •     Eliminating redundancies, jargon and triteness.
  •     Rewriting, condensing or expanding sentences and/or paragraphs.
  •     Adding or deleting sentences and/or paragraphs.
  •     Adding tables, graphs, heads and subheads.
  •     Checking facts.

My work does not end here and extends to:

  •     Checking the material for spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax and word usage errors, and making necessary changes.
  •     Ensuring consistency in the use of style, spelling, capitalization, and references to tables or figures.
  •     Correcting excessive use of the passive voice.

Since substantive editing involves structural reorganization (and for this reason, it is also known as structural editing), the edited manuscript can look significantly different from the original copy. All the same, I make every effort to retain the author’s voice and intent.

 

Copy editing

Copy editing is akin to polishing. It is the last stage a manuscript goes through before going to print. As a copy editor, I perform a language review; but unlike substantive editing, I do not focus on the structural aspects. This means that my work involves:

  •     Checking the material for spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax and word usage errors, and making necessary changes.
  •      Ensuring consistency in the use of style, spelling, capitalization, and references to tables or figures.
  •      Correcting excessive use of the passive voice.

To describe the relationship between substantive editing and copy editing mathematically:

Substantive Editing = Copy editing + Structural Changes

 

Proofreading

Proofreading is the last stage before a work is published (as against copy editing, which is the last stage before a manuscript is printed). To this extent, it is like putting the finishing touches to a piece of work.
In the original and strict sense of the term, proofreading is not editing. These days, however, proofreading is regarded as the lightest form of editing, which involves checking the material one last time for minor editorial oversights and typos.