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I would like to ask how long copy- editing should take for a novelette of ca,30,000 words.Thank you.
Bernie E

Asked by: Bernadette Ekberg

  1. Cherry Mosteshar on February 16, 2018

    It really does depend on the level of editing and how deep the editing goes. If we just look at the spelling and grammar even then, 2,000 words and hour is a bit of a romp – but possible. However we rarely do anything that fast if we can help it and the author is not in a hurry. Copy editing is not just about fixing spelling it is about looking at the core of the writing and making sure it is the very best it can be. We look for all sorts of things and often find ourselves feeding back on places where the author contradicts what they have said before, or where the plot has gone wrong. If you have taken a year to write something you deserve to have someone who takes they time and really gets into the book rather than rushes it off their desk. I can’t tell you the number of times I have gone off a researched something because the spelling of a name or a place did not feel right in an academic work, and found that in fact I was right and I had to fix it. That can mean an entire day on just one word.

  2. Donna Fyler on February 9, 2018

    It is as the others have said, the time it takes is dependant on the level of edit required. We see lots of esol manuscripts which require a much higher level of edit than one which already follows the general rules of UK or US english.

    However, you can easily get an edit returned within two weeks - but again, that's also something any reputable editing house will tell you up front. Our quotes are based on length of turnaround time, word count and the level of service you're looking for. Full edits with critique vs simple proofreading vs critique only are different levels of editing. But for all, the longer you are willing to wait, the cost goes down.
    Cheers - d

  3. Bernadette Ekberg on February 5, 2018

    Thank you both so much for your answers, and for putting me at ease.

  4. Lorraine Swoboda on February 4, 2018

    Hi, Bernie,

    It really depends on how complicated the novelette is, and how good/bad the spelling or grammar is. The individual editor will work in their own way, too - so what will take one person a week may take another more or less time.

    You can cut the time down by doing a lot of work yourself; for a start, put it into a different font and then read it aloud, which will pick up missing words or sentences that don't work. Has your word processor underlined anything? Check all 'errors' that have been highlighted, but bear in mind that it may complain about English spelling incorrectly, and Word's grammar is iffy at times.

    Hope this helps,

  5. Rosie Sandler on February 4, 2018

    Hi, Bernie,
    I'm afraid this varies widely, depending on how much work is needed. Straightforward proofreading can be done at around 2,000 words per hour - but a novel(ette) needing an intensive edit could take a couple of weeks.


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