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Working with professional editors

is the best thing you can do for your writing.

Not sure what kind of editing you need? Download my helpful PDF:

I focus mainly on copyediting and proofreading; these steps are done after the manuscript’s content has been finalized. If you need developmental or content editing help before your manuscript is ready for a copyedit, I can suggest trusted colleagues and resources.

I use the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS), the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and my knowledge from ten-plus years as an editor and proofreader to polish your book before publication. Visit my Portfolio  to see my previous work.

Copyediting and proofreading are both essential steps in the publishing process. Both focus on correcting errors, but there are some big differences in these services. Scroll down for details.

Copyediting is done early in the publishing process, while your manuscript is still a MS Word document—it happens before book design begins. Using Word’s track changes feature to indicate my suggested changes and corrections, I focus on grammar, spelling, punctuation, word usage, sentence structure, and style guide compliance. This step is integral to a book's quality and should be performed by a professional copyeditor—don't skip it!

Nonfiction authors: Need help citing sources? Download my two-page citation guide here:
CMOS Citation Guide.
Colorful Books
Stack of Books

Proofreading is done later in the production process, after the MS Word document has been designed and typeset. Proofreading is done on a PDF, and corrections are noted using PDF markup and implemented by the designer. In proofreading, I look for text typos and design issues such as incorrect page numbers or inconsistent headers. Proofreading is the last chance to correct errors and make changes to your work before it is published or goes live. You'll want to carefully review the document yourself, but hire a professional proofreader to ensure your work is ready to hit the market.


Kim is a pro and a joy to work with.

Copyeditors are the unsung heroes who make sure that everything is in pristine order, from punctuation to overall grammar and word choice. Here's a shout out to my copyeditor, Kim Bookless, whose meticulous nature results in an excellent reading experience.

Sam Polakoff 

Hiatus, Shaman, and Escaping Mercy

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