Line-editing/copyediting workflow

  • First, I will ask you to let me know your style preferences (e.g. UK/US spelling; -ise/-ize endings). I will also ask you if there is a specific style guide you would like me to follow (e.g. the Chicago Manual of Style) for all other decisions.
  • Next, I will run a macro (something like a miniature computer program) called DocAlyse to analyse your document. This will help me make other style decisions, such as the use of —em dashes— or – spaced en dashes – in your text.
  • I will then prepare your document for pre-editing. If necessary, I will make use of Word Styles, before using editing software (PerfectIt and the Editors’ Toolkit) to ensure consistency in line with the style sheet. I will also run a spellcheck at this stage. There are some other macros I often use here to improve my accuracy, such as CompareWordList to highlight issues that the spellchecker does not see. This includes common errors such as form/from, causal/casual.
  • The text is then ready for the main edit. I make one pass through the entire text.
  • After the main editorial pass I run PerfectIt again to pick up any remaining inconsistencies and I may run some more macros, if necessary, to pick up on other inconsistencies (e.g. in names mentioned in the text).
  • Finally, I will send you the copyedited text to check through. There will likely be several author queries (questions or comments to the author), whenever a word, phrase or sentence is unclear. If you have any other questions at this stage or would like me to reread any sections, I ask you to send a copy of the manuscript with the sections highlighted.
  • I ask you to reply to all the author queries and other questions/text to be read again in a single email, as I am usually busy and cannot respond to several emails with different questions.

For larger jobs, such as monographs, most of the workflow is the same as above, but I will work with you to put together a more detailed style sheet and project brief at the start, and I will permit two or three rounds of queries at the end. The project brief may also include formatting references (typically charged separately – see this explainer). If the job you require involves formatting references, I will complete this at the start, before the main edit.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch!