Proofreader/Book Editor in Berkshire
How I approach the job
This very brief description of my work flow only scrapes the surface but will hopefully give you an early insight into how I approach the job of editing your work.
The initial edit is done as I read the work for the first time. I will scan the file when the manuscript arrives, to ensure it isn't corrupted and to get a feel for it, but apart from that I try not to read ahead. Why? Because I feel it is important to initially edit as the story develops. That's how the typical reader will engage with your work. If as an editor I already know where the story is leading, it is difficult to feel that natural thrill and engagement of a story that's building. Yes, you can judge how effectively it builds purely based on its technical merits, construction and so on, but personally I prefer to feel the same excitement as the reader. If I don't feel an involvement in the story then nor will anybody else!
I do at least two complete passes of the work. The first is the initial detailed proofread and edit as described, though during this stage I will often skip back over sections, checking for consistency and so on. When editing, I have to focus on many factors in the work, so I don't read it in quite the way a typical reader would - it's never a relaxed bedtime read! So I will always do a second full pass, when I will read it in a more natural, relaxed way. This can reveal a few other things, usually related to how it flows.
Files will be returned to you in Microsoft Word format, unless otherwise agreed. Suggested amendments will be marked up using Word's 'Track Changes' feature, allowing you to easily review and accept or decline my recommendations one by one with a click of the mouse. Notes will be added within the work file using Word's 'Comments' function. I often add notes giving the reason for suggested amendments where it may not be obvious.
I very much enjoy immersing myself in working with an author on their story, always conscious that to him or her it may be daunting to have someone read and critique their work. Few authors are so confident of their 'certain best-seller' that they tell me "all it needs is a quick read through". If that's what you honestly believe, I suggest you go straight to a publisher, because either you are a brilliant new writer or you may take my input very badly! By far the majority of new authors dread what they will be told about the quality of their work, but with perhaps a little editing, and assuming you have researched and planned your story well, it is very likely to appeal to others. How many others is the difference between a proud author and a famous/rich one.