COPY-EDITING AND PROOFREADING

Copy-editing and proofreading are vital for refining your manuscript once all the big-picture issues are settled. They focus on the micro-level elements of your writing, such as grammar, punctuation, syntax, and formatting. See below for more details on each service, pricing, our editors, and more.

Copy-editing

Copy-editing involves reviewing the micro-level elements of your writing, such as grammar, punctuation, syntax, and formatting, and correcting any problems we encounter. We’ll also check your story for consistency and logic. At the end, you’ll get a clean copy and a marked-up copy of your manuscript so you can accept and reject changes as you like. We’ll also provide a style guide.

Proofreading

Proofreading involves a final check for grammar, punctuation, spelling, typos, and formatting errors before your manuscript is published or sent out to agents/publishers. Typically coming after the copy-edit, it’s the last stage in the editing process. Like with the copy-edit, we will provide a clean copy, a marked-up copy, and a style guide at the end.

Pricing

Pricing is based on word count. Use the calculators below to see the cost for your manuscript. Please enquire for bespoke pricing if your word count is less than 30,000 words or more than 160,000 words.

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Testimonials

“I was thrilled with the service I received from Andrew and his team. The copy-edit and proofread they provided were thorough, punctual, and vital for giving my manuscript the professional polish I was aiming for. The team combined invaluable historical expertise with a forensic approach to grammar, punctuation, and consistency. When they spotted errors, they did an excellent job of explaining them in the accompanying style guide, and they answered my queries at the end thoughtfully and comprehensively.”

Penny Hampson

How does it work?

How to book

If you’re interested in booking or you’d like to know more, email us at enquiries@thehistoryquill.com. Tell us a little about yourself and your story, as well as what stage of editing you’re looking for.

Picking an editor

Once you’ve decided to book, the first step is to pick an editor (see our list of copy-editors/proofreaders here). Who you choose to work with is up to you, though we’re happy to make suggestions or allocate an editor if you wish. We’ll agree an editing slot based on your editor’s availability and when you think your manuscript will be ready.

Payment and submission

You’ll be asked to make an advance payment to secure the slot, and you’ll pay the remainder of the editing fee when you submit your manuscript. You’ll need to submit before the start of your slot. If your word count is finalised at the time of booking, you’ll have the option of paying in full at that point if you prefer.

The edit

When it’s time to complete the edit, your editor will review and amend your manuscript. We’ll provide you with the amended version (marked-up and clean), plus the style guide, before the end of your slot. You’ll then be able to ask us any questions you may have.

Do review the FAQ section at the bottom of this page for more details.

Editors

Jenny Papworth

Jenny has been working as a copy-editor and proofreader for over 25 years. A graduate of the University of Leeds, where she studied English and Chinese, her work has taken her all over the world, including Hong Kong, Brunei, and Cyprus. Fiction editing has always been her passion, with a special interest in historical fiction, and she now works exclusively in this field. She lives in Herefordshire, England.

Kahina Necaise

Trained in book publishing at NYU and Oxford Brookes University, Kahina has honed her writing and editing skills while living on three different continents. Originally from the USA but now based in the UK, she enjoys work that indulges two of her deepest passions: story structure and history. She has completed professional courses in both content editing and copy-editing.

Naomi Munts

Naomi is a copy-editor and proofreader living in Southampton, England, with her husband and three children. She graduated from Southampton University in 2006 with a first class degree in English language and literature. Naomi has a lifelong interest in history, and she’s currently writing a novel set during ancient Egypt’s Middle Kingdom.

Sarah Dronfield

Sarah works on copy-editing and proofreading projects for The History Quill. She has been trained by the Publishing Training Centre, the Society for Editors and Proofreaders, and the Editorial Freelancers Association. She has a degree in archaeology and environmental management. Having lived in Australia, Denmark and the Netherlands, she is now settled back in her home town in South Wales.

Cecily Blench

Cecily Blench is a freelance writer and editor. Originally from Herefordshire, she studied English Literature at the University of York and worked for several years at an independent publisher in London. She has written for Slightly Foxed, Reader’s Digest, The London Magazine, and Hinterland, among others. Her first novel won the 2019 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize for unpublished manuscripts.

FAQ

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How long will the editing process take?

The exact timescale will depend on the length of your manuscript. Two to three weeks is typical.

Should I book in advance?

Yes, we advise booking one or two months in advance if possible.

Do you edit longer manuscripts?

Historical fiction manuscripts can often be a little longer than in other genres, and we’re happy to accommodate this. Our standard pricing accommodates manuscripts up to 160,000 words. If your manuscript is longer than this, get in touch and we will quote you a bespoke price.

Which sub-genres do you edit? Is there anything you don't edit?

We edit a wide range of takes on the historical fiction genre, including (but not limited to) time-slip, dual timelines, thrillers, romance, drama, action/adventure, mystery, children’s, YA, alternate history, and historical fantasy. We do reserve the right to turn down any project if our schedule doesn’t allow it or if we don’t feel it’s a good fit for us. If you’re not sure, just get in touch and ask.

Do you accept international clients?

Yes! We welcome clients who are resident in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and any EU country. We don’t currently serve clients who are resident in other countries.

What if I'm not satisfied with the work?

Our terms and conditions clearly outline expectations for our projects. If these haven’t been met by the deadline, we’ll offer you a full refund, claimable for 30 days following completion of the work.

What are your full terms and conditions?

You can view our full terms and conditions here.

How do I arrange payment?

We accept payment by credit or debit card, either in GBP or USD according to your preference. We usually take an advance payment at the time of booking (£150 / $200 for proofreading, £250 / $300 for copy-editing), and you pay the remainder when you submit your finished manuscript. However, if your manuscript is already finished when you book, you can pay in full at the time of booking if you prefer.

How can I send you my manuscript, and how should it be formatted?

The best way is via email. Manuscripts should normally be sent as Microsoft Word documents.