Editing for Print & Traditional Media
We offer editorial services for a variety of formats and contexts. Our areas of expertise include:
Speculative fiction, science fiction, fantasy, adventure, and romance
Other genre fiction
Small presses and independent publishers
Digital publishing platforms
Web and digital content
Company or organization websites
Blog posts and articles
Newsletters and emails
Event and campaign copy
Store and product information
Personal branding and communications
Profiles, bios, and artist statements
Personal websites and portfolios
Resumes and CVs
Cover letters and applications
Presentations and reports
Print and digital advertisements
Direct mail marketing
Legal and financial
Articles and briefs
News articles and books
Types of editing
Workflows and terminology vary between disciplines and regions—one person’s “heavy copyedit” is another person’s “substantive edit” or “line edit.” Below is a list of common services we offer and how we define them.
Developmental editing is a high-level edit that can be performed on an early draft or at the outline stage to plan or revise the structure and content. In a developmental edit, we may give feedback in the form of comments and questions about order and organization, format, flow, repetition, unclear or missing information, development of argument or plot, theme, characterization, clarity, tone, and effectiveness at achieving the aims of the work.
We typically deliver a developmental edit in the form of an editorial letter, in-line comments in a document, or a combination of the two. This is a high-level edit and does not address mechanical or stylistic issues.
A heavy copyedit, sometimes called a substantive copyedit or a line edit, is a detailed edit at the sentence and paragraph level. As the name implies, it can involve substantial changes or rewording to achieve clarity, address inaccurate, incomplete, or incorrect statements, eliminate ambiguity, smooth transitions, eliminate wordiness or repetition, ensure consistency of tone, and generally improve style and flow.
In fiction, a heavy copyedit may include addressing consistency of character, setting, timeline, and plot details.
Heavy copyediting also includes all the features of a light copyedit.
A light copyedit is concerned primarily with correcting errors in mechanics (spelling, grammar, punctuation) and usage, removing infelicities, conforming style, and ensuring consistency in headings, lists, and cross-references. When a job request mentions “proofreading,” frequently a light copyedit is what is really meant.
As part of a copyediting job, we may also create and/or update a project style sheet. A style sheet will usually specify a base style guide for the work, such as Chicago or AP, and will note any exceptions or modifications from the base style (for example, use the serial comma; spell out numerals smaller than 10). We will also use the project style sheet to note any terms or usages particular to the work, such as proper names, abbreviations, or domain-specific terminology.
Proofreading takes place after all copyediting has been completed and the text has been finalized and either typeset or prepared for digital publication. We will proof the typeset copy or formatted text for any lingering mechanical errors such as spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors; misapplication of text styles such as italics or underlining; incorrect, broken, or outdated cross-references or hyperlinks; missing text; and typographical, formatting, or layout issues such as spacing, kerning, margins, line breaks, and justifications.
A proof may also be compared against a master document to ensure that they match (word-for-word proof), or against a previous markup to ensure that all indicated changes have been made and no new errors introduced (revisions proof).
Still not sure what kind of editing you need, or don’t see quite what you’re looking for? Let’s talk!
This is just a summary of our most common services, but we’re pretty flexible and can tailor our work to your needs. And if we’re not a fit for the job, we can help point you to the right person.