An experienced editor, I help all kinds of business clients polish their copy ready for publication. I’ve edited for small start-up companies and global brands; for charities, museums and associations; for universities and the UK government.
In my career, I’ve edited brochures, prospectuses, annual reviews, reports, websites, magazines, handbooks, resource packs, newsletters, criteria, articles, mailshots… all manner of written materials. Whatever the style, audience, tone or medium, I have the experience and expertise to provide editorial support.
Why commission copy-editing?
Whatever your written material, its core purpose is to communicate a message. Copy-editing helps you to communicate that message effectively.
When your copy is professionally edited, you can be sure it reads well. Your reader won’t think I don’t understand or I’m bored or So what? You won’t be let down by poor grammar or a muddled structure or a tone that alienates rather than sells.
There are seven Cs for copy-editing: clear, correct, coherent, complete, concise, consistent and credible. All of these are essential for business communications.
My business copy-editing service
A step up from proofreading, copy-editing incorporates all the checks of the proofreading service, but also looks to improve the writing style.
When I proofread, I look for black-and-white issues only, like a spelling mistake, a misplaced apostrophe or a stray Capital letter. When I copy-edit, however, I look at much more:
- Accuracy and consistency: Are the spelling, punctuation and grammar correct and consistent? Is a sensible and consistent style applied to elements of style like capitalisation, italicisation, hyphenation and numbering? Are there any glaring factual errors?
- Style: Is the writing awkward, vague, ambiguous, wordy or repetitive? Is it too technical? Do any terms need explanation?
- Tone: Is the tone always appropriate for the material and its target audience? Are any words undermining the tone? Is there any potentially offensive content?
- Readability: Can the reader easily follow the meaning throughout? Are any sentences or paragraphs overlong or complicated? Are there opportunities to simplify the language (such as through using plain English)?
- Structure: Is the organisation of material logical? Are headings and lists used effectively and consistently?
How intensively I edit is up to the client. I can provide light copy-editing, remaining very respectful of the material, or I can edit rigorously.
I copy-edit using the Track Changes tool in Microsoft Word, which allows the client to see all of my edits and choose to accept or reject them, thereby retaining full control. On request, I will also format the document in Microsoft Word, using a company template or Word styles.
If the client has a corporate style guide, I ensure the material complies with this. Otherwise, I create a style sheet that records the overarching style applied in areas like spelling, capitalisation, hyphenation, punctuation and numbering.
I am British and have a degree in American Studies, so I am equally comfortable editing in UK English and US English.