Copyediting & Proofreading

Print and Digital – Reports, Manuals & Websites


Plus Journal Articles for Academics

WHY use a copyeditor / proofreader?

When writing a document we immerse ourselves in our work, and as a result we don't see the wider structural and other editing changes that our document might require.  Likewise, when proofreading our own text we read what we think is there, rather than seeing what actually is ... and as a result we can miss typos, errors, misspellings, etc.

Believe me, it happens.


6 Benefits of using a professional copyeditor/proofreader:

  1. To ensure consistency - of formatting and layout 
  2. Get grammar and spelling corrections 
  3. Ensure your content is clearly expressed

  4. Get the writing style and tone of voice right for your audience
  5. Implement an organisation/publisher's required style guidelines
  6. And finally, bring a fresh pair of eyes to a document.


Copyediting/Proofreading – What is the difference?

The terms ‘proofreading’ and ‘copy editing’ are sometimes used interchangeably, but are actually very different activities.   Copyediting comes early on and can involve substantial editing and rewriting – and can therefore take longer. Proofreading is done just before a document is printed, to check the text against the final proofs, and only makes changes that are absolutely necessary.

Benefit from my 20 years' experience

My copyediting started when I was editor of a quarterly magazine (1996–2003) and continued when I wrote features for national newspapers/magazines such as the Guardian and Daily Telegraph.

My skills are accredited by the national Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP), whose courses I have taken in copyediting, proofreading, on-screen editing, development/ substantive editing, and project management.

During 2012-15 I also coordinated the Oxford SfEP group. More recently I have done some Development Editing jobs eg for HarperCollins. This has involved scoping out a book and its format, writing an author brief, selecting authors and advising them on writing style, developing and editing chapters, ensuring coverare of a syllabus, and ensuring the quality and accuracy of manuscripts prior to typesetting.

EXAMPLES of books I have edited (since 2012) include:

  • The Festival of Britain, Harriet Atkinson (IB Tauris, 2012)
  • Oxford Handbook of Internet Studies, ed. William Dutton (OUP, 2013)
  • The Monetary History of Iran, Rudi Matthee (IB Tauris, 2013)
  • State Responses to Minority Religions, eds D. Kirkham and B. Young (Ashgate, 2013)
  • Foundations of Sports Coaching, Paul E. Robinson (Routledge, 2013)

  • #2sides, Rio Ferdinand's autobiography (Blink Publishing, 2014)
  • The Sacred Architecture of Byzantium, Nicholas Patricios (IB Tauris, 2014)
  • Sackcloth and Ashes, Ann Widdecombe (Bloomsbury, 2014)
  • A-Level Economics textbook for Caribbean Examinations Council (Collins, 2015)
  • Economics and Maths for Economics (Cengage Learning, 2017)
  • + 40 books for Bloomsbury, since 2012

'An excellent service on each occasion.'

'Robert has provided an excellent copy-editing service.  We continue to use his services and have no hesitation recommending him.  (Kim Storry - Fakenham Prepress Solutions)    

  • Good communication with all parties.
  • Deadlines have always been met, with many edits being supplied early.
  • Positive author feedback on the editing and query process.'

Read more testimonials here

Editing/Proofreading for businesses

I do editing and proofreading of printed and digital documents for businesses –website content, newsletters, brochures, case studies .. even non-fiction books.

It is easy to miss mistakes in ones own writing, eg because you are in a rush to get a job published or printed.  I know the temptation, but don't.  Mistakes create a bad impression with clients, and reprinting wastes money.  So, it is always always worth getting a fresh pair of eyes to check your text.  Believe me.  I can offer you a quick/weekend turnaround, so that you aren't left with egg on your face.

Academic copyediting and proofreading

Reports and journals - Economics
expertise (books marked **)

I copyedit and proofread books, reports and articles written by academics – each year I complete  12–15 books for the project managers/publishers listed below.  Typically, I  work on business, management, education, politics and other social sciences.  

I have particular experience in economics (marked **), which I studied at university and then practised for several years.  (In bold are my principal clients.)

  • Brookes University, Oxford
  • Fakenham Prepress Solutions – for Continuum/Bloomsbury, Taylor & Francis
  • Free Range Book Design & Production – for IB Tauris
  • HarrperCollins – several Revision Guides for subjects under the Caribbean Examinations Council
  • IDRC - Canada **
  • Oxford Language Editing – help for non-native English speakers, for Oxford University Press **
  • Oxford Internet Institute – for Oxford University Press
  • Sunrise Setting – for Taylor & Francis and SAGE
  • Swales and Wills – for Taylor & Francis
  • Tom Hardy Publishing – for HarperCollins **
  • WordsIn Time
  • 4word


"With all editing … I react sulkily at first, but then I settle down and get on with it, and a year later I have my book in my hand."

Michael Morpurgo, author


What will my proofreading / copyediting cost?

It depends on how much work is needed, but typically ...

Proofreading is the lower figure in the following ranges:  £30–£38 per hour ... £10–£20 per 1000 words ... roughly £4– £6 per page (depending how many words). 

But if the document needs more substantial copyediting, with passages that require rewriting, obviously it will be more costly than the rates above (or if a fast/weekend turnaround is required). 

The best thing to do is ... email me a sample of your text ... I will then send an exact quote. With thanks.

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING? Just let me know ...Send Robert an email