EDITING AND PROOFREADING>
I have been editing and proofreading for publishers for around 15 years – please see my CV here. I am familiar with both American and English spelling, and happy to work in either. Do please contact me by emailif you’d like me to either edit or proofread your book, and I can give you an idea of costs. As an independent publisher (of my own books) myself I know just how easy it is for mistakes to slip through. I also know how depressing it is to find errors in the finished upload to Amazon, and how important it is to have a fresh pair of eyes to examine all the spellings, grammar mistakes, words printed twice etc etc. I can assure you that even the very best writers and journalists all make these mistakes, and they all have someone employed by their publishers to check, and make changes when necessary.
WHAT A COPY EDITOR DOES>
Makes sure there aren’t repeated words in the same sentence (very easy to do), checks general grammar, use of commas, correct presentation of dialogue, ensures that everything makes sense and a whole lot more. It is basically assessing a book as a whole and taking various decisions to improve it, as and when necessary. Crucially, a copy editor must never alter the ‘voice’ of the author or the spirit of the writing. Sometimes it might be necessary to put explanations for colloquial American words if the book is for the English market, and vice versa. Occasionally a writer might muddle up tenses within the same sections, or switch from first to third person within a single viewpoint. Or it may not always be clear in dialogue who is talking. There are scores of other things. A copy editor does not make recommendations about the content of your novel, advise about plots or characters or style, or make any kind of critique of the writer’s work. This would be better described as a manuscript assessment service, and requires a different kind of expertise.
WHAT A PROOFREADER DOES Reads each and every word, checking for spelling and grammar mistakes and for the kind of error that a spellchecker cannot see (e.g. ‘altar’ instead of ‘alter’), correct use of apostrophes and of colons, when a hyphen is necessary, or even unnecessary double spaces between words. Sometimes there are two different (correct) ways to spell a word, and a proofreader makes sure that the word is spelt consistently the same way throughout (for example: ‘no one and no-one’, ‘realise or realize’). I always read a manuscript twice.
TESTIMONIALS Phill Syron-Jones:
"Writing is hard enough what with the day to day and the sometimes lack of inspiration. However if a writer knows he has a good team behind them it make things a little easier. I was fortunate enough to have Geoffrey West in my corner when i wrote Rise of the Phoenix, His way of ironing out those creases was nothing but magical. If you need an Editor look no further than Geoffrey West."
Buy 'Flight of the Phoenix' by Phill Syron-Jones on Amazon.
"I thoroughly recommend Geoff to provide an excellent proofreading service. From initial contact, through to the completion of the work, Geoff's professionalism and attention to detail have been first-class. I was working to a tight deadline and Geoff was able to accommodate this.
As well as correcting grammatical and punctuation errors, he also identified a number of incorrect words/phrases and 'clunky' sentences and offered alternatives. Geoff also provided very useful feedback and thoughts on the novel as a whole which I certainly took on board.
I have no hesitation in recommending Geoff and am looking forward to working with him on my next novel."
Buy 'Wrong Place, Wrong Time' by P.S. Brown on Amazon.
Louise Dixon, Senior Editorial Director, Michael O'Mara Books Ltd:
"Geoffrey West is an accomplished proofreader and copy editor and has worked on a variety of books for me, including biography, history, science, medical and gift titles. I would highly recommend his skills to anyone looking for a thorough and professional editor."
"After I finished my first novella, 'The Customer is Always...', I had the daunting task of finding a copy editor. For me, this is the scariest process in the writing spectrum. You've written something you love, you're happy with it, and the first thought is: 'An editor will rip it apart and tear it down.' In hindsight, this isn't true at all, the editor is there to help you. But, it didn't make the task any easier. As a first time author, I was petrified.
Then, I found Geoffrey West. Quite by accident as well...
I was researching editors on online and mingling on Twitter and I stumbled across Geoffrey. The first thing I noticed about Geoffrey was his professional, but relaxed personality. He was very approachable, something I did not expect. The stigma of the domineering editor was gone in a flash. Before long, we were working together. He helped me on my first novella and my first full novel, 'All or Nothing', which is due for release in 2014. I found his approach very efficient and direct, but also friendly, which made the entire process comfortable.
As an author it's been several months since Geoffrey and I first spoke. I would recommend Geoffrey to anyone who wants a friendly, approachable face to help with their manuscript. He's quick, efficient, dedicated, and has a very good mind for the small details, ones that we may miss as a writer. If I knew a copy editor like this existed years ago, I would have been writing much sooner. He's a credit to any work he applies himself to and the service is excellent. There are few people who helped me in the early stages of my career, but Geoffrey is one of them, and I will always be thankful for that. "
"I'll be leaving Blake at the end of the month for a new role at Carlton. I've loved working with you. You've done some great jobs for me, and I really appreciate you consistently delivering on time and often ahead of deadline."
"It was a great experience working with Geoffrey. Communication throughout the whole process was fantastic.
His attention to detail was impressive. Even now, I can feel his eyes correcting this very review; making sure I've not put two spaces after my full stops...and I bet he removed that semi colon that I put in this sentence!
My book was written in U.S. English and Geoff was very meticulous in checking that every spelling was in the correct version of the language.
Added to this, you can't snip at his pricing either!"
"... The rest of my (historical) research was done by the usual methods, of Google. But I did have a secret weapon, a very good English historical and language editor, Geoffrey West. He did a marvelous job of catching some of the naive American mistakes I made in the retelling of eighteenth-century life."