You’re almost there! Line editing is more than a proofread. At this stage, you’ve had a beta read, some good feedback from other authors, maybe a developmental edit, and you’ve gone over your draft enough times and really need to step away from those pages. Here are some of the things I look for and fix with tracked changes on.
Hyphenation: I’ll go through and correct hyphens such as making sure mid-morning is midmorning and half asleep is half-asleep.
Punctuation: Commas, smart vs. curly quotes, question marks placement, ellipses usage, em vs. en dashes, hyphens, digit vs. spelled numbers, speech tags, percent usage, spaces and tabs, etc.
Quote marks: Magazines, titles, songs, books, newspapers. I’ll make sure your Movie Titles are italicized and “Song Titles” are in quotes.
Spelling and Grammar: We know that spellcheck doesn’t catch everything. I’ll find when hi should be his or the is supposed to be they. I’ll make sure your past tenses are in the past, subjects and verbs happily agree, and adverbs and adjectives are properly connected.
Consistency: Does Becky Sue have green eyes in chapter one but somehow has blue eyes in chapter four? Did your murderer use a jade knife, but the detective found the ivory-handled blade in a later chapter? Did Becky Sue have her back to the door while waving good-bye but somehow reached forward to turn the knob? Was your main character born in Akron but later on tells everyone it’s Arkon?
Sentence Structure: Are the sentences in your paragraphs all the same length? Is there enough construction variety, or do you have all clause-comma-clause sentences?
Word usage: Do you have “wear” when it should be “where?” I’ll also look for the times when the same word each time is used too many times in the same paragraph all the time.
Send me the first three chapters, and I’ll look them over with a sample edit and provide a quote based on the number of corrections found. Line edits usually run from .01 per word and up. If your manuscript is pretty tidy, then you may only need a proofread.
This is your last step before submitting to the publisher. We’ll focus on whatever needs completing to make sure your story is ready to go.
- Spelling and punctuation
- italics, dashes, quote marks
- overall visual layout (margins, indents, chapter centering, spacing, etc.)
Proofreading usually runs from .006 per word and up, depending on the amount of corrections per sample edit.
Refer an author friend who signs up, and you receive a discount;
Schedule more than one book for a combo discount;
Book a line edit and a proofread for a discount off your total invoice.