Copy Editing

Steve Is Providing an Authors' Editing Service

I'm offering copy editing services to help prepare a manuscript for publication.

Why would you hire me?

Why wouldn't you? I'm awesome! Take a look at these testimonials:

Steve is awesome.
- a famous author

I didn't have Steve proofread my manuscript and I self-published anyway. I only sold one copy and that was returned. And now my dog's run off.
- not-famous author

Don't let this happen to you!

Jokes aside, I'm conscientious. I'm old enough that I learned spelling and grammar the hard way, not leaning on my word processor's auto-correct. I bring a wide mix of knowledge with me, which helps me spot a variety of mistakes. English is my native language, which is not something you can count on if you hire one of the low-cost, by-the-hour copy editing services.

Here's a real testimonial from a real person:

The most effective copy editor I've ever worked with.
- W.T. Quick

(Bill's published a couple dozen novels, so his praise for my editing of his Lightning Fall swelled my head nicely. And then Bill had more to say. Wow. Talk about swelling my head.)

Services Offered

The main author's service I'm offering is copy editing:

  • Proofreading
  • Consistency and continuity checking
  • Limited fact checking
  • Notes on formatting issues
  • Comments from the perspective of a reader

I'll also save all of the files you send me. If disaster strikes and your computer dies and you only had one backup thumbdrive and you can't find it, drop me a line. I'll send you what I have for free or a nominal cost.

What I Expect from You

Your manuscript

The manuscript in a format I can load and edit is best: Word or Open Office documents.

If you also send me a MOBI (Kindle) or EPUB document, I'll look it over for formatting oddities as part of the service.

Previous work

If you've published before and have a clean, publication-quality document, you can send me that so I can see how you write. For instance, you may always write "OK" as "ok". There's no point in my repeatedly calling attention to some usage that is already the way you want it.


I'll normally want fractional payments as I complete and return some part of the manuscript. Details are negotiable case by case.

What I'll Give You

A colorful, marked-up manuscript. I put typo fixes, rewording suggestions, formatting suggestions, and other comments all in different colors. Your manuscript will look like fruit salad when you get it back, and that's good because it lets you focus on one kind of fix at a time.

Sample marked-up document

Unless you say you don't want it, I'll comment on whatever occurs to me as I read: a section drags, the year that compact disc players were first sold to consumers, you lost track of whose turn it was in a back-and-forth conversation, the smell of a burned-out capacitor, you changed a guy from a Captain to a Major and back again. Whatever comes up.

If for some reason you can give me only a read-only document – PDF, ePub, or MOBI – I can work with that, but it'll be more of a pain for both of us. I'll give you back a text file with my comments and location information. (Chapter 8, paragraph starting with "It was a dark and stormy night.")


Negotiable, case by case.

Of course I want to get as much as I can for my work. Realistically, I realize that most of my clients will be self-publishing and not willing to front $1000US when they have no idea how many sales they'll get. If you're looking for a copy editor, drop me a line and we'll see what we can work out.

For now, I accept only checks and bank transfers. I may arrange to take credit and debit cards in the future.

I'll send you receipts and statements for your own income tax purposes.

Referral Fees

If you've paid me for work and you refer a new client to me, I'll give you 10% of the payment of the first job I do for him.

Contacting Steve

Contact me by email.