Editing for publication, whether on paper or digital media, includes many tasks. It’s important for the author and editor to decide what is required before beginning.

While Amanda is editing a manuscript she frequently communicates with the author to ask questions about their material. The production of a book is a team effort.

Copy Editing is what most people think of when they ask an editor to work on their manuscript. They want the editor to find the incorrect grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes. They also hope the editor will get the document to make sense.

To ensure the document reads well, the editor has to think beyond spelling issues. For example, the editor can check that statements of fact are accurate, quotes have been correctly copied and attributed, names of people and places are spelled correctly, captions match photographs and headings match the Contents page.

Language Editing, also known as line editing, is part of Copy Editing because it looks in detail at the written material. The editor wants to see if the material conveys the message in a way that a reader can quickly understand. Has the author used an appropriate writing style to suit his or her topic and audience? The author or publisher may give the editor permission to rewrite the material because they want the book to be a great success or the author may do the rewrite using the editor’s guidelines. Rewriting manuscripts takes time.

Substantive Editing is sometimes required to make the document work well. Substantive Editing looks at the whole substance of the book or website. It includes all the aspects of Copy Editing in addition to looking at the structure of the manuscript. This is the most time consuming and expensive type of editing.

Structural Editing includes rearranging and deleting blocks of text and headings to help the author develop their argument or their story-line. The reader needs to be given enough information to understand why the author arrives at a certain conclusion. Having made changes to the structure of the book, the editor updates the Contents page.

Proof-reading usually comes as the last step before a book is sent to the printers.

The proof-reader compares the final version of the manuscript with the version that has the correct spelling of words and the correct punctuation. All other types of editing should be completed before this stage.


Another aspect of preparing a manuscript for publication is gaining permission to reproduce images, maps, text or music from people who hold the copyright privileges on those works.

Some of the projects Amanda has edited are listed on the Past Projects page.

Please use the Contact Us page to tell Amanda about your project and explain the sort of help you want.