What do you get?

You send me your manuscript … then what? What do you get afterwards?

What I return to you depends on what level of editing you have asked for. In this blog post, I’ll break down what you get from the different editing services that I provide. Not sure what you need? This blog post may help.

It’s important to remember that other editors may do things slightly differently. We are all individuals and it’s important to find an editor that suits you. It’s why I offer free sample edits.

Developmental editing

Big picture changes often mean there is not much to see in your manuscript. So what are you getting? My developmental editing will leave comments in the text that will link to a detailed report.

My comments in the text will reflect and support this report, giving you ideas for how to improve the narrative, plot, characterisation, dialogue or any other area that needs work.

The report that I will send you also contains this and allows me to go into greater detail with you. It will contain elements such as:

  • Your manuscript’s current strengths
  • Suggestions for improving the characters
  • How restructuring may develop the narrative
  • Ways to develop the plot and increase the drama
  • How to improve the pace or flow
  • Suggestions for making the dialogue more effective or believable

Of course, it’s all down to your manuscript. The report reflects what your story needs and will give the best possible story. It’s then down to you to implement these changes as you see fit. You may completely disagree!

How is this different from a beta reader? Beta readers are great for understanding your readers’ reactions. A developmental edit will go into far more depth and give you far more creative solutions to hurdles.


Here, I will work directly on your manuscript, using Word’s “Track Changes” function. To understand that, take a look at this blog post.

When I’m done copyediting your manuscript, you’ll receive a few files from me:

  • Your edited manuscript: with the tracked changes showing my suggestions and comments balloons for queries and other ideas.
  • A style sheet that I have generated for you (unless you have been kind enough to supply me with one)
  • A feedback and queries document: for all the ideas, queries and suggestions that I can’t fit into the manuscript

If required, I can also produce a “clean” copy of the manuscript, with all the changes accepted. I generally don’t do this, as it is still your manuscript: you may disagree with some of my suggestions! I always advise that you review manuscripts carefully.


Once your manuscript has been edited and typeset (more on that in a later blog post!), it’s time for proofreading. Generally, this is done on PDF software (sometimes even on physical book proofs) so don’t expect changes, expect mark up to show where these corrections should be.

Again, when I return your files, you can expect:

  • Your marked-up PDF or book proof: either using standard BSI symbols, if you are comfortable with those, or PDF mark-up
  • A style sheet (again, it’s always helpful if you create this)
  • A queries document: in case there are any questions or thoughts I make while proofreading

Although proofreading is generally done on PDF software, I can also do this on Word. This is often known as proof-editing as it involves changes to the manuscript. This can be helpful for self-publishers who are not using professional typesetting software. In these instances, you will receive the document back, with tracked changes as in a copyedit.

For more information on the services I provide, download this free ebook.

For more resources, check out this page.

If you would like to know more about my editorial services, please get in touch today or request a free sample edit. I cannot wait to hear from you!

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Published by Nick Taylor | Editor & Proofreader

Editor and proofreader specialising in LGBTQ+ writing, both fiction and non-fiction.

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