Editing Services

I offer light (basic) copyediting services, line editing services, and two kinds of developmental editing services:

  • for nonfiction, including the academic humanities;
  • for fiction in the genres with which I’m familiar.

What is copyediting?

Copyediting is the process of reviewing and correcting written material to improve accuracy, readability, and fitness for its purpose, and to ensure that it is free of error, omission, inconsistency, and repetition.

What is line editing?

Line editing is a step beyond copyediting. Where copyediting corrects outright errors, line editing suggests improvements at sentence and paragraph level.

What is developmental editing?

Developmental editing (also sometimes called substantive or structural editing) involves assessing how well the project succeeds with respect to its goals and providing feedback in order to allow the author to rework the project to more closely match its ideal shape. Developmental editing involves working closely with the author. In order for it to be useful, the editor needs to know the project or manuscript’s goals and intended audience.


Light (Basic) Copyediting

Note: For student dissertations and theses, some academic institutions prohibit the use of paid/professional editors. Please consult your own institution’s guidelines.

Rates: €1.50/USD$2.00 per manuscript page (a manuscript page is conventionally assumed to be equivalent to 250 words).

What is involved:

  • Correcting faulty spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Correcting incorrect usage (such as can for may).
  • Checking specific cross-references (for example, “As Table 14-6 shows…”).
  • Ensuring consistency in spelling, hyphenation, numerals, fonts, and capitalization.
  • Checking for proper sequencing (such as alphabetical order) in lists and other displayed material.
  • Recording the first references to figures, tables, and other display elements.

A light copyedit does not involve interventions such as smoothing transitions or changing heads or text to ensure parallel structure. I will check content only to detect spots where copy is missing.

Contact: bourkeen@gmail.com. Please put “Copyediting” in the subject line.


Line Editing

Note: For student dissertations and theses, some academic institutions prohibit the use of paid/professional editors. Please consult your own institution’s guidelines.

Rates: €2.50/USD$2.75 per manuscript page (a manuscript page is conventionally assumed to be equivalent to 250 words).

What is involved:

I will read your manuscript in careful detail and suggest improvements to the language at sentence and paragraph level. This can include:

  • changing verbs to present a more vivid text

  • assessing the use of passive and active voice and suggesting changes

  • changing sentence structure

  •  suggesting changes to language use for ease of communication with the intended audience

Line editing can be particularly useful for speakers of English as a second language who want to be certain that their text is both formally and idiomatically correct.

I will mark up the manuscript with suggestions and comments using the Track Changes function in Microsoft Word.

In order for you to evaluate my services, a preliminary consultation (involving the first 1-5 pages of your work) can be arranged. After this you may decide whether or not to proceed further.

Contact: bourkeen@gmail.com. Please put “Line Editing” in the subject line.

 


Academic (Humanities)/Nonfiction Developmental Editing

Note: For student dissertations and theses, some academic institutions prohibit the use of paid/professional editors. Please consult your own institution’s guidelines.

Rates: €2.75/USD$3.00 per manuscript page (a manuscript page is conventionally assumed to be equivalent to 250 words).

What is involved:

I will read your manuscript in careful detail, with an eye to answering questions like:

  • How effective is the structure of the work?
  • Is the content well-organised?
  • Is the argument easy to follow?
  • Do any points need further explanation?
  • Is the information presented in a fashion that is clear and intuitive to grasp?
  • Is the prose readable and grammatically correct?

 

I will provide an editorial letter answering these questions, with suggestions for improvement and revision. An IM/Skype consultation session can also be arranged at no extra charge. Optionally, I can also mark up the manuscript with suggestions and comments using the Track Changes function in Microsoft Word.

In order for you to evaluate my services, a preliminary consultation (involving the first 10-50 pages of your work) can be arranged. After this you may decide whether or not to proceed further.

Contact: bourkeen@gmail.com. Please put “Developmental Editing” and the kind of project you want me to work on in the subject line.


Fiction Developmental Editing

Genres: science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery (cosy and hard-boiled)

Rates: €2.75/USD$3.00 per manuscript page (a manuscript page is conventionally assumed to be equivalent to 250 words).

What is involved:

I will read your manuscript in careful detail, with an eye to answering questions like:

  • How effective is the characterisation and character development?
  • How effective is the structure and the plot?
  • How effective is the pacing?
  • How effective is the voice?
  • Do the themes come across in a coherent way?
  • How effective is the worldbuilding?
  • Are there clichés of characterisation (in terms of gender, sexuality, or race) that could be dealt with in better ways?
  • How effective is the dialogue?
  • How effective is the treatment of potentially sensitive content?
  • Does the work provide a satisfying payoff at the conclusion?
  • Is the prose clear and readable?
  • Are there points of confusion for the reader?

 

I will provide an editorial letter answering these questions, with suggestions for improvement and revision. An IM/Skype consultation session can also be arranged at no extra charge. Optionally, I can also mark up the manuscript with suggestions and comments using the Track Changes function in Microsoft Word.

In order for you to evaluate my services, a preliminary consultation (involving the first 10-50 pages of your work) can be arranged. After this you may decide whether or not to proceed further.

Contact: bourkeen@gmail.com. Please put “Developmental Editing” and the kind of project you want me to work on in the subject line.


About me:

I hold a Ph.D in Classics from Trinity College, Dublin. I’m a historian by training. Since 2011, I have reviewed books professionally for a number of publications.

(If I work on your book, I will not thereafter review it.)