What I do

Substantive or content editing

This involves taking a manuscript and cleaning it up at a more fundamental, ideas-oriented level. I’ll edit and rewrite to make sure a manuscript is organized well, recast sentences and paragraphs as needed to improve flow, mend transitions, ensure language is used consistently and accurately, and point out missing material or major flaws.

Copyediting (or copy editing, depending on your preference)

This involves going through your manuscript and correcting grammar, punctuation, syntax, and spelling; making sure usage is consistent throughout (eg, a character’s name is spelled the same way throughout a novel, or that a company’s name is spelled/capitalized correctly); and improving clarity for the intended audience. This is all done while preserving the voice and style of the original manuscript. Also includes preparation of a style sheet that documents prominent or unusual vocabulary and terminology and the styles used in the manuscript.


The last line of defense. Is the styling of all headings, subheadings, and chapter titles consistent? Do the running heads/feet match the chapter/book title? Is the language and typesetting done according to the preferred style? Are any widows or orphans flagged/fixed? Does what’s listed in the table of contents match what’s printed in the rest of the book? These problems and others will all be tackled and I’ll deliver you a product that is perfect—or as close to it as possible!

For more information, contact me at: editor@jpballinger.com