Has your manuscript been professionally edited?

Editing puts a polish on your manuscript. It makes the writing more crisp, clear and concise. A good edit is also about avoiding embarrassment when you are promoting your book and readers comment on all the typos they found. Even the best writers in the world have their manuscripts edited several times.

Editing can be aimed at improving the overall structure and quality of the manuscript, or it can be that extra set of eyes to catch typos and the odd sloppy sentence. There are different types of editing depending on what your manuscript needs, including 1) Editorial Evaluations, 2) Substantive Editing, 3) Copy Editing, and 4) Proofreading.

Editorial Evaluation

An editorial evaluation will help you if you have questions like: Is my manuscript worth publishing? Is it a quality manuscript? Does it need a major overhaul or is it ready for publishing after a basic proofread?

An editorial evaluation entails a professional editor reading your manuscript from start to finish without making any changes. Once they have reviewed your manuscript they will write a short report, often 3 to 10 pages, outlining the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript and assessing what could be accomplished by further work on the manuscript, including the editing options below.

Substantive Editing

A substantive edit looks at the overall quality of your manuscript and how it can be improved. For example, is the story engaging and suspenseful? Are the characters well developed? Are there sections that are slow, dry, or duplicating previous sections and can be deleted? Is dialogue or, in the case of nonfiction, are anecdotes used effectively? Is the manuscript structured and ordered in the best possible way?

These are the sorts of questions a substantive edit will address. The editor will read through your manuscript and will make detailed notes about how to improve the story. The editor may also delete sentences, paragraphs, even whole pages if it will improve the manuscript.

The notes are made using the “track-changes” feature of Microsoft Word, which allows you review the comments and to either accept or reject each change to the manuscript. At the end of the day, you as the author get the final say on every change.

Copy Editing

Copy editing catches the grammar and spelling mistakes and ensures your manuscript meets Canadian Press style requirements, the Chicago Manual of Style, or whichever authority is most relevant. Copy editing also cleans up awkward or sloppy sentences. A copy editor sees the errors that you as the author cannot see because you are too immersed in your project. Copy editing is truly about putting the finishing touches on your manuscript.


A proofread is a final set of eyes to catch typos and minor grammar errors that made it through the copy edit. If perfection is important to you, then an extra set of eyes via a copy edit isn’t enough — you need yet another set of eyes. A proofread may occur after the book has been designed but before the files are converted into print-ready and ebook formats ready for distribution.

For further details about how editing can help your specific project, please contact us.