Frequently-Asked Questions

What is copy editing?
Copy editing (or copyediting) is editing for clarity, style, and grammar. It’s not just about commas and periods! Copy editors clean up a manuscript so that it is organized, well thought-out, and reflects the intended meaning.

What is developmental editing?
Developmental editing involves high-level organization to make sure that the big ideas are addressed, the overall order makes sense, and that the necessary content for big picture to come into focus is there.

What is proofreading?
Proofreading is that nitty-gritty editing that makes sure all the commas are in place and that nothing is obviously wrong or flawed. Things like poorly-structured sentences are not addressed, but a sentence fragment would be.

What is sensitivity reading?
Sensitivity reading involves going through your manuscript to flag potential issues such as problematic themes, racial tropes, ableist language, inappropriate metaphors, or other harmful writing- or thought-based pitfalls that can alienate a reader or produce strong, negative reactions. Sensitivity reads are strongly encouraged, especially when the writing addresses or is about historically-marginalized groups.

Why do I need an editor anyway?
Editors do two things: advocate for the reader and make the writer look good. That’s pretty much it. However, getting those two things done takes a lot of work because every writer is different and every body of writing needs different treatment. An editor will figure out what your writing needs and offer advice on how to address any issues and make a piece better.

How does an editor make me look good?
An editor cleans up your writing so that it is easy to read and well understood. An editor also does things like enforce consistency, so that the same thing isn’t done different ways throughout the same piece (for example, making sure that “cancellation” is not spelled “cancelation” in some places but not others). Inconsistencies can add up and undermine your credibility as a writer and as a reliable authority on a subject.

Can I hire just any editor?
Yes you can, but you shouldn’t. Different editors do different things and some editors have special subject expertise. But even outside of that, sometimes an editor will have a personality that won’t work well for what you need. It can be trial and error to find the right editor, but when you do, it pays off.

How can I know which editor is best for me?
Many editors give manuscript evaluations (in some cases for free!) as a sample. This can help you understand the extent of work needed on a body of writing, but it can also give you a preview on how the editor will approach your writing. A manuscript evaluation can save you time and money down the line.

What do I do if I have a question that isn’t listed here?
Feel free to send me an email.