How I work

I adopt a three-​pronged approach to copy-​editing:

  • taking care of the basics of spelling, punc­tu­ation and grammar
  • ensuring consistency of the text in all respects, such as general styling and punc­tu­ation, use of abbre­vi­ations and tech­nical termin­ology, heading level hier­archy and structure of tables, so that the reader is never distracted or annoyed
  • ensuring clarity of expression so that the intended reader will be able to under­stand the text on first reading; I feel that if a reader ever has to read a sentence a second time to be able to grasp the intended meaning or if there are any lingering ambi­gu­ities, I will have failed in my role as copy-​editor.

I partic­u­larly enjoy handling both the copy-​editing and the type­setting on a project, as then I can ensure that the Word file is rigor­ously cleaned up and styled prior to importing into InDesign. This makes the type­setting process much smoother, saving me time and my client money.

My system is PC-​based, with Microsoft Word 2010 and 2013, Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illus­trator and Acrobat.

I will occa­sionally consider taking on a fixed-​fee project, partic­u­larly for type­setting, though I much prefer an hourly rate charging structure (with different rates for copy-​editing and for type­setting). All my long-​term clients have been happy to move at some point to a simple hourly rate model if they weren’t that way from the start.