Matthew Laight

proofreading (editing & writing)

services

Who needs an editor?

You might be an independent author who has just finished a first draft, or perhaps you have revised and polished your masterpiece as much as you can before submitting to a publisher. Or perhaps your PhD or Master's dissertation is almost there but your first language is not English and you want a final-draft edit before you submit. It might be that you're a business owner who wants a leaflet checked for clarity and grammatical errors, or an academic who is looking for a good reliable editor to take on the proofreading of important journal submissions. Common to all these possible scenarios is a simple fact: you have spent time and energy writing words that say something about you, your company, or your work, and you want to communicate your ideas to an audience in a clear and precise way.  And, because you care about your message, your brochure, your novel, your thesis, your advertisement etc., you are seeking professional advice before committing your words to the finality of publishing and distribution. A professional edit will show your work at its very best for your readers.

  • If working with a proofreader is new to you, then please use the services sub-menu to discover more about what I offer in your particular area of expertise, and the how-it-works link for an explanation of how we might work together. For more general background about proofreading and copy-editing, the information page should be of interest. Or, if you prefer, just get in touch and I can advise you further.

I offer proofreading and copy-editing services for, among other things:

  • Novels

  • Dissertations (PhD and Master's thesis, final-draft proofreading only)

  • Journal articles

  • Website content

  • Business literature

  • CVs

  • Maths & Science examination/tutoring booklets

  • Brochures

 

I am comfortable and happy editing a wide range of documents and subject material (hard or soft copy is fine). In brief, I offer an editing service that includes fiction and non-fiction, academic and technical journals, postgraduate dissertations, business projects such as leaflets, articles and marketing documentation, and of course I am always looking to work with publishers in any or all of the aforementioned areas. I offer an accurate and fast-turnaround service at all times. As a member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) I am bound by its established code of practice.

I am a friendly and approachable chap, I offer a positive and constructive method of working with clients of all stripes and experience. No job is too big, no job is too small, as the saying goes. Please have a good look around the site, get to know me, and what I can offer you, and please do get in touch either here, or via the contact page

How it works

If proofreading is new to you, please take a few moments to read a little about how we'll get started. I have outlined below my standard method of working for proofreading (or copy-editing) novels, theses etc. The process is as follows:

  • I will ask you to provide some details of the material to be proofread, such as how many words, whether it’s a novel, a journal article, a thesis etc. I will ask you some questions about the format of the material and how you will want me to show the edit (e.g., in Word markup, PDF commenting, formal British Standard (BSI5261C:2005), or simply good old-fashioned red-pen comments in the margin. ​

  • I will ask to see an example of the material that needs to be proofread, just a few sample pages, from which I will be able to get an idea of the work involved, for example: a final proofread or a more detailed edit. An idea of your deadline will be useful at this stage.

  • I will return your sample pages to demonstrate how the corrections and queries will look, together with a quotation price for the job.

  • If you wish me to carry out the edit for you I will send you a contract outlining our agreement, I will then ask you to send me your work so that I can begin the edit. It might be that we agree that I return edited sections along the way.

  • I will return your edited document in a timely manner, in accordance with your deadline and our contract.

  • For large jobs like novels or theses I ask that half the fee be paid prior to commencement of the work, the remainder will be invoiced in the usual way on completion of the work.

  • To help make life easier I have provided a dedicated quotation form that I hope you find helpful.

How much will it cost?

My rates are based on the minimum rates published by the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP). However, no two jobs are ever the same and the services I provide will inevitably be tailored to your requirements. I usually like to provide quotations based on my assessment of a representative sample of your work, and after a discussion of what service is best for you. I prefer to work at an hourly rate, but sometimes it's just easier to agree on a fixed fee. I have a minimum fee for small jobs (less than an hour's work). I also offer a discounted rate for final-draft editing of theses and dissertations. 

  • There is no charge for an initial enquiry.

  • There is no charge for the preparation of quotations.

  • I do not charge VAT.

  • For short projects, taking less than an hour, I have a minimum fee of £30.

  • Once engaged for the job, time taken on emails and telephone calls are included as part of the standard hourly rate.

  • I accept payment by bank transfer.

Post-graduate discount

I offer a permanent 10% discount for all final-draft proofreading of Master's and PhD dissertations (see the post-graduate page)

Timescales

I will endeavour to start work on your project as soon as possible, but please bear in mind that I will almost inevitably be 'mid-project' when you get in touch. So please think ahead if you are working to a tight deadline. Proofreading is generally a little faster than copy-editing and I usually budget around 2,000 to 2,500 words per hour (on average and depending on the original format) for the former, and 1,500 to 2,000 for the latter. It always helps if you can provide me with a total word  count, it makes quotations much easier. I am happy to work with Word or PDF, though it's always faster with Word.