The Editing Process

I edit manuscripts in Microsoft Word (track changes), Adobe Acrobat (PDFs), or on hard copy if preferred.

If the editing is done in Word with track changes I will send you the following:

  • One copy of the document that shows the changes I have made. With the track changes feature, you can view all of my changes and accept or reject each one. You will also see my comments–questions and remarks about the text that come up as I edit.
  • One print-ready copy of the document that incorporates all the changes made in the text.

Types of Editing

Most of the following definitions apply to book editing; however, copyediting and proofreading also are essential to the process of creating strong website content or other copy.

Substantive Editing

Substantive editing includes in-depth suggestions to the author about the organization and presentation of content. Keeping the “big picture” in mind, the editor looks for ways to improve the structure and style of the manuscript. Substantive editing may involve some rewriting, or suggestions for rewriting.

Good editors have a light hand. I don’t make significant changes without checking with the author first; I respect the author’s voice and style.


At this stage, a manuscript is tightened and smoothed out. When I copyedit your manuscript, I make sure that the sentences and paragraphs are structured correctly and flow logically from one to another. I also correct errors in spelling, grammar, word usage, and punctuation.


This is the final stage of preparing a manuscript or other copy for publication. After the work has been edited, I check for typos and fix errors in spelling, punctuation, and basic formatting that have been missed during the editing process. I compare the final version of the manuscript to earlier versions and make sure that marked changes have been made correctly.