Book editing

Our specialist editors look at your manuscript with a discerning eye.

Giving your writing an edge​

Tate & Clayburn offers expert developmental editing, line editing and copyediting for fiction and non-fiction books, as well as other manuscripts. We’ll begin by discussing your needs and vision, what stage your manuscript is at and how much intervention you’re looking for.

We consider narrative, tone of voice, characterisation, consistency, structure and lexical choices. We can also spot opportunities for greater creativity, entertainment or persuasion, depending on your intended readership.

If you’re simply looking for a final polish, check out our proofreading service.

Some examples of texts we edit:​

  • novels
  • short stories
  • memoirs
  • textbooks
  • children’s books
  • reference works
  • poems
  • non-fiction books
  • recipes
  • travel guides
  • biographies
  • book chapters

Why choose Tate & Clayburn?


Certified quality

We’ve achieved the globally recognised ISO 9001:2015 quality management certification.

Exceptional team

Our hand-picked experts are trusted by hundreds of discerning clients worldwide.

Trust and confidentiality

We treat our clients’ data and intellectual property with the utmost care.

Customer service

Our customers give great feedback – because we don’t rest until they’re thrilled with our work.

Capacity and speed

We draw on all the resources we need to fit in with your schedule.

What is developmental editing?

You have some great ideas for a book – maybe even a full manuscript – but you’re not sure how to frame your arguments, or perhaps early readers have found your writing difficult to follow. Developmental editing helps clarify and refocus your thoughts.

Developmental editing involves:

  • identifying the core thesis of the book with a specific audience in mind
  • structuring or restructuring the project to make the thesis clear and convincing.

Developmental editing can involve substantial changes, so it’s best to work through this stage before you think about stylistic language editing (line editing) or copyediting.

What is line editing?

Line editing, also known as stylistic editing, is all about the craft of writing.

It looks at:

  • the flow and pace of a manuscript
  • vocabulary and syntax
  • the overall effect of the language.

Line editing typically focuses more on the content, flow and readability of a text than copyediting. For this reason, line editing usually happens before a copyedit.

What is copyediting?

Copyediting focuses on grammar, misspellings and consistency.

Copyediting involves:

  • correcting language errors, including typos, incorrect grammar and punctuation, and inappropriate use of vocabulary
  • identifying any remaining problems or inconsistencies with the argument and ideas and the logical flow
  • making further suggestions on the structure of the text and removing repetition
  • ensuring consistency of text, images and formatting, both within the manuscript and with any guidelines you send us
  • fact-checking.

Read more about our copyediting services.

What is proofreading?

Proofreading involves ironing out the final creases when your book is in its final layout. If that’s what you need, click here.

Our other services

Frequently asked questions

We place quality at the heart of everything we do, and we’re proud to be certified for compliance with ISO 9001:2015, the globally recognised quality standard. We only work with experienced and fully vetted editors and proofreaders, and our strict in-house quality-checking processes make sure nothing slips through the cracks. Read more about our approach to quality.

The work and personal data you share with us are treated as strictly confidential. All our team members are fully vetted and have signed a contract and non-disclosure agreement. We never share your details or documents with third parties, and we delete data once it is no longer needed. To find out more, please see our privacy policy.

We can usually edit or proofread short documents in as little as 24 hours. Let us know your deadline and we’ll do our absolute best to meet it.

All varieties! We most commonly work in British, American, Canadian and Australian English, but we’ll adapt to whatever more specific preferences you have.

We work with all kinds of files. We most commonly edit and proofread in MS Word as changes can be easily tracked, but we also work in Google Docs, PDFs, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, LaTeX, InDesign and most other file types that are sent our way.

Once we’ve finished editing or proofreading your document, we’ll send it back in the format of your choice. If it’s a file type that supports tracked changes (such as MS Word or Google Docs), our suggestions and comments will be clearly marked up in the document.

Of course, if you have any follow-up questions after we’ve sent you the final document, we’re more than happy to answer them.

We do everything we possibly can to correct all errors in a document. We hire only experienced editors and proofreaders with a keen eye for detail, and we have a strict quality assurance policy in place. We’re also certified for compliance with globally recognised quality management standard ISO 9001:2015, which means we place customer satisfaction and quality at the heart of everything we do. Despite all of this, human error is still possible and we can’t guarantee 100% accuracy.

We calculate the cost of copyediting and proofreading based on the number of words in your document and the amount of work involved (for example, a heavy copyedit will cost more than a light proofread as more work is involved in reworking the document). Send us your document and deadline (or a sample of your text and the total word count) and we’ll get back to you with a free, speedy and precise quote.

We accept payment via bank transfer and PayPal, which includes card payments via the PayPal interface.

For individual clients, we ask that you pay up front the first time we work together; after that, we’ll switch to 30-day invoicing. For businesses, universities and other organisations, we understand that you would most likely prefer an invoice on completion. We’ll ask for your business address, and our payment terms are 30 days from the date of invoicing.

Don’t worry in the least! For most of our academic clients, we liaise directly with the finance department to sort out the admin, so you can focus on the research side of things. If you put us in touch with the relevant team, we’ll work through the supplier registration, quoting and invoicing process with them. Just let us know how you prefer to work and we’ll fit in with you.

Yes, as long as you can provide us with a full business address. For individual clients, we ask that you pay up front the first time we work together; after that, we’ll switch to 30-day invoicing.

How can we help?

Fill in this form to email us and we’ll be in touch soon.

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