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 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 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 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.
“I was thrilled with the service I received from The History Quill. 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.”
How does it work?
How to book
If you’re interested in booking or you’d like to know more, send us a booking enquiry via one of the buttons on this page. Alternatively, email us at email@example.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
We’ll ask you to complete a booking form to secure your editing slot. You won’t pay anything until you submit your manuscript, which will be due the day before your slot begins. You’re welcome to send us your manuscript sooner if it’s finalised and you’re ready to pay. Once you’ve submitted your manuscript, we’ll ask you to pay in full.
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 questions if you need clarification on any of our changes or further advice.
Do review the FAQ section at the bottom of this page for more details.
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.
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 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 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.
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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, South Africa, and any EU country. If you are not resident in one of these countries, unfortunately we won’t be able to accept your business at this time.
What kind of support will I receive after my edit?
We provide email support to all clients following completion of an edit. We will answer up to three substantive emails of a reasonable length, which may contain requests to clarify any of our changes or to provide further advice on anything you’re not sure about. They should be sent within two months of completion.
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?
You’ll pay in full on submission of your manuscript, which will be due the day before your editing slot begins. We accept payment by credit or debit card. Your payment currency is determined by your country. UK clients will pay in GBP, US clients will pay in USD, and EU clients will pay in EUR. All other clients will pay in USD.
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.