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Line Editing/Copyediting

Image by Joshua Sortino

All righty, folks, this is where we get into the nitty-gritty.

The Chicago Manual of Style (aka the Editor’s Bible) is the most commonly used style guide in book publishing. I follow it like a stomach ache after ten fruit pies. The choices I make are not random—I follow a guidebook to make sure your writing is consistent and flawless.

So What Does a Line Edit do?

Here’s a quick example:

Original sentence:

I quickly expressed grattitude which was sincere because I felt such appreciation for those around me, who probably were dismayed at my sudden loss.

Edited sentence:

I quickly expressed my gratitude; I felt such appreciation for those who were
dismayed at my sudden loss.

Line editing CLEARS the writing so your reader HEARS the message. It addresses sentence structure, word choice, punctuation, grammar, spelling, and flow. The editor does not force her style on the writer. My job is to amplify your voice, not change it.

 

Line Editing vs. Copyediting

Line Editing and copyediting sometimes get confused.

To be precise, line editing is the more artistic side of a sentence-level edit. It addresses voice, flow, and clarity, whereas copyediting is more technical, addressing spelling, grammar, and punctuation. However, I generally combine the two, shaping the sound of the sentence along with its grammar bits.

 

How Do I Know if We’re a Good Fit?

The first step of my process is always a sample edit. This is a 20-page sample that allows you to see my editing style and how I treat your work. I line edit the first 5 pages so you see my editing style, but I ask for 20 pages so I can get a feel for your writing and check for bigger-picture elements. I also give a one-page editorial letter outlining strengths and weaknesses.

 

The sample is crucial for me to see if Im the right fit for your book and if so, what editing is needed, how long that would take, and how much it would cost. I never take on a project before making sure you’re comfortable with my edits and I’m passionate about your project.

The sample edit is a trial run for both of us. We don’t move forward until we’ve both passed!

Ready to bring out the gold in your book?

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