- copyediting and proofreading -

Copyediting and proofreading are like the ultimate valet service at the end of a long drive. You – or your author – will have spent months or perhaps years in your ‘vehicle’, so it may be showing some wear and tear. The floor may be littered with discarded oddments from all the places you’ve been, and the outside will likely have more than a few dings and scratches.

As your copyeditor or proofreader, I‘ll dig all those long-forgotten oddments out from under the seats, carefully ensuring that none of your or your author's prized possessions are lost and making sure everything ends up in its proper place. And I’ll patch, scrub and polish every detail of the interior and exterior so that your ‘vehicle’ is ready to be shown off to its waiting readership.

I can help you with...

  • Communicating effectively with your target audience
  • Using English clearly and idiomatically
  • Hunting down typos
  • Avoiding ambiguity
  • Ensuring consistency
  • Using specialist terminology appropriately and consistently
  • Following a specific editorial style guide (e.g. Chicago, MHRA or APA) or developing your own style guide
  • Compiling and styling reference lists
  • Handling tables, figures, boxes and other special elements
  • Checking facts
  • Preparing text for a designer, typesetter or web developer
  • Looking for glitches in the layout or design
  • And much more!

Specialist areas

I offer copyediting and proofreading services across most areas of non-fiction. However, some areas where I have particular experience are:

  • Academic projects (humanities and the social sciences)
  • Business, charity and third sector
  • Digital, media and futures
  • Education
  • Healthcare (especially for non-medically trained readers)
  • History
  • Large, complex projects (such as encyclopedias and catalogues raisonnés)
  • Literature
  • Peace processes and peace work
  • Religion
  • Sociology

See my portfolio for more details about the areas I cover.

What's the difference between copyediting and proofreading?

Copyediting and proofreading are traditionally considered to be two different tasks, with copyediting being a more complex stage that happens before proofreading. However, this distinction is increasingly blurred.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter what editorial work is called as long as it's clear which tasks are required.

During our discussions, my focus will be on understanding the specific tasks you require so, if necessary, I can put together a bespoke service that delivers exactly what you need.

I’ve created a handy flowchart to help you get an idea of which service you might need.

Hazel has been my secret weapon for more book projects than I can remember. Seriously, I don’t know how she does it; she spots things I would never have seen in a million years. I wouldn’t even consider sending one of my books to print without Hazel working her magic on it first.


- Paul Choy, international documentary photographer and author


Thanks so much for your help over the years – I’ve always been able to send the magazine to the printers with 100% certainty that there will be no typos, howlers or spelling mistakes included thanks to your thorough work on each issue!

- Dom Hall, Content Manager, Royal Osteoporosis Society

I would like to thank ... my copyeditor, Hazel Bird, who has edited six of my books, including this one, with sense and sensibility.


- Yair Neuman, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


My thanks to Hazel for her work on this – it’s been of a consistently high quality and she’s been incredibly helpful throughout the entire process.

- researcher/writer for a charity’s report

Thank you for bringing your meticulous eye, extraordinary patience, and implacable intelligence to this book. I'm tremendously grateful to you for all your wonderful work.

- Aysha Pollnitz, Assistant Professor of History, Grinnell College

Thanks to ... Hazel Bird, copy editor, whose intelligent and thoughtful attention to detail has been nothing short of phenomenal.


- Sara Lister, Justine Hofland and Hayley Grafton, editors of The Royal Marsden Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures, 10th edition


Example workflow

Each project is different, but here you can get an idea of my typical editorial process for copyediting and proofreading:



We will discuss your requirements, publication plans and deadline, so I can fully understand your goals and expectations. I may ask to see a sample of your text. We might use a sample edit as a way of helping us both to better understand whether I am the right editor to help you meet your goals.



I will send you a quote outlining the service I am proposing, the cost, the schedule, and my terms and conditions. This will include the details of any deposit required before work starts and any staged payments.



Once our agreed start date comes around, I will start to dig into your text properly. I will likely send you some overarching queries about details of style and approach, so I can be sure I’m proceeding in line with your preferences.



I will then work through your manuscript in detail, carrying out the tasks we have agreed.



Depending on what we’ve agreed, I’ll return the manuscript in batches or all together. You can then review my changes and deal with my queries. For documents in Microsoft Word, edits are usually shown with track changes and queries appear as comments in the margin. For documents in PDF, edits and queries are usually shown using Adobe’s in-built commenting tools.



If you wish, you can then return the manuscript to me with your answers to the queries. This is often advisable on longer or more complex manuscripts, as it means I can check your changes are consistent with my earlier edits and send you back a clean, harmonised version.



Once all tasks have been completed, I will send you an invoice for any remaining portion of the fee. You might then have questions as you move forward with the copyedited or proofread text. That’s fine – I remain available to answer a reasonable level of queries relating to the completed work for as long as you need.


My fees vary depending on the requirements of the individual project, but they start from:

Proofreading: from £20 per 1,000 words

Copyediting: from £25 per 1,000 words

Please get in touch for a customised no-obligation quote.

Ready to find out more?

Get in touch to find out how I can help to move your project forward.

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Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, UK