What does the writing, editing and proofreading process involve?

Professional writing and editing ranges from a simple proofread to reworking the most complex document into plain English. Good editing requires training, experience and flair, and in this discipline – as in many things – you get what you pay for. To give you an idea of how I can help, below are some of the tasks associated with deeper levels of service.

Regardless of the depth of service provided, you’ll get expert attention to detail and great value for money. Many online editing services rely on automation, which gives the appearance of substance but has no depth or intelligence. With Writefish, you get a real editor improving your document line by line. Check the rates page for how the hours below translate to an estimate for your sector.

Every project involves a bit of project management time, and some of the estimates below factor that in partially (but not necessarily completely).

Manuscript assessment

Involves the broadest overview – basically reading and commenting on how the work hangs together. Some grammar and usage tips provided, but very little (or no) proofing or editing. This is not a stage where you want to spend your budget but, even so, reading takes time.

  • A good rule of thumb is 10 minutes per 1000 words.
  • That is, if your project is 10,000 words, expect a quote of at least 3 hours.

Proofreading

Involves checking spelling, grammar, punctuation, lists, consistency and heading hierarchy, and some simple formatting tasks (like removing double spaces or unnecessary paragraph marks). Some comments provided about the actual content and overall writing flow.

  • A good rule of thumb is 20 minutes per 1000 words.
  • That is, if your project is 10,000 words, expect a quote of at least 4 hours.

Simple editing

All the proofreading tasks plus a look at verbs and phrasing, clarity and continuity of expression, and overall document structure. More in-depth comments and feedback provided about the overall content.

  • A good rule of thumb is 40 minutes per 1000 words.
  • That is, if your project is 10,000 words, expect a quote of at least 7 hours.

Substantive editing

All of the above tasks plus consideration of citations and references (time-consuming work), as well as detailed comments and feedback about how your work hangs together and where it might be improved or restructured.

  • A good rule of thumb is 60 minutes per 1000 words.
  • That is, if your project is 10,000 words, expect a quote of at least 10 hours.

Editing and rewriting

All of the above tasks plus guidance on where and how to rewrite certain sentences or even passages. I might rewrite certain sentences (always using tracked changes) that you can then accept or reject.

  • A good rule of thumb is 60-90 minutes per 1000 words.
  • That is, if your project is 10,000 words, expect a quote of 10 to 15 hours.

Writing

All of the above tasks plus, if necessary, a full rewrite of your material (e.g. converting legal documents into plain English). I can also write new and engaging content (e.g. advertising material, websites, headlines, banners, instruction manuals).

    • A good rule of thumb is 60-120 minutes per 1000 words.
    • That is, if your project is 10,000 words, expect a quote of 10 to 20 hours.

Desktop publishing

For any of the above stages, I can also look at optimising your document’s presentation – either by making it look great in Microsoft Word, or using a professional publishing program (Adobe InDesign) to make it shine.

  • A good rule of thumb is to add another 30-60 minutes per 1000 words to any of the estimates above.
  • That is, if your project is 10,000 words, expect 5-10 hours on design alone.