How I work: At the copy-editing stage of the project, I work with the revised digital version of the typescript, so onscreen (usually a Microsoft Word document). Using Word's Track Changes feature, I add comments and queries, insert and/or delete text, and may amend the formatting. Again, some back and forth with the client is required, and I generally work on a chapter by chapter basis. This enables me to provide regular updates and to maintain a consistent focus on the project - for both of us! - so as not to drift off course. This can, and does, happen, as life always finds a way to interfere!
How long will it take? Copy-editing is quicker than structural editing, but is still dependent on word count and editor-author response times. In traditional publishing, copy-editing can take up to four to five readings of a typescript, but that is not be practical for me, and would also prove to be very expensive for the client. Allow up to six weeks for copy-editing to be carried out.
How much will it cost? Due to the nature of my work, I generally pick up copy-editing issues during a structural edit; however, the two stages need to be carried out separately, and I still have to read through the typescript to carry out a thorough copy-edit. My fee for copy-editing is combined with my fee for structural editing: £10 per 1,000 words (the copy-editing fee being £4.00 per 1,000 words). Note that copy-editing is not offered without structural editing unless the client can prove that their typescript has been structurally edited.
What happens next? After copy-editing is complete, the next stage is to prepare the text to become the printed version of the book. See Typesetting.