Winskill Editorial
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Publishing a book can involve a wide variety of stages, including: planning; first draft; critique; structural editing; beta read; sensitivity read; permissions; rewriting; index; artwork; copy-editing; final draft; design; proofreading; marketing and rights; and publication.

A book may need all, most, or just a few of these tasks and stages.

For all work, my level of input is entirely up to you and based on what you feel your text requires, combined with the nature of your material, your proposed audience and the current state of your text.

Why do you need professional input?

  • to see whether your writing is fit for publication, self-publishing, or submission in its current state
  • to ensure that your message/narrative is clear and easily understood
  • to check for consistency of spelling, punctuation, grammar and layout
  • to achieve your text’s full potential
  • to contextualise and understand your material in the wider publishing milieu
  • to recognise where your work succeeds and where it could be improved
  • to circumvent unnecessary and avoidable criticism
  • to verify any factual material
  • to rewrite your text into straightforward English

Editorial Services


  • working on your text to make sure it is ready for publication and/or submission

This can include:

Structural editing (also called Developmental or Substantive editing)

  • looking at characterisation, pace, structure, plot, point of view, language, commercial viability (fiction)
  • offering possible solutions to inherent issues in the text
  • suggesting restructuring or rewriting of material where appropriate
  • checking content flow, illustrations, facts, references and notes, commercial viability (non-fiction)
  • a general overview (critique) of the entire work, highlighting strengths and weaknesses within the text, as well as considering its suitability for a particular market/audience
  • can also incorporate copy-editing (see below)


  • ensuring that your text makes sense, flows properly and actually says what you intended
  • scrutinising spelling, grammar, punctuation, consistency
  • checking for anomalies/inconsistencies in the text
  • marking up your text for layout

On-screen editing

  • editing straight onto an electronic version of your text rather than on to a printed version
  • inputting copy-editing changes from elsewhere onto an electronic version of a text


  • checking for consistency of spellings (British or American), subject matter, punctuation and layout markings
  • correct use of quotation marks and italics
  • accurate labelling of headings and subheadings, as well as picture captions (non-fiction)
  • ensuring conformity of abbreviations, such as inclusion or omission of full stops
  • complying with specific referencing systems for academic texts; eg. Harvard, APA, Vancouver, Chicago, Oxford etc.


  • checking your final draft for any remaining minor errors, inconsistencies or incorrect layout
  • investigating your otherwise unedited text for grammar, spelling, punctuation and other textual and layout inconsistencies
  • often confused with copy-editing, this is very much a final polish to your text and nothing more


  • altering your material to adapt it for a specific readership
  • amending text written by non-native speakers of English so that it makes sense and expresses correctly what you wish to say
  • shortening text
  • anglicising text where American usage is inappropriate for the proposed audience

Literary Consultancy

Manuscript evaluation and critiques

  • reading your work to see whether it is suitable for publication or submission in its current state, and whether it is appropriate for your proposed audience
  • can be based on a whole manuscript, or only the opening chapters of a book
  • offering feedback on your plot, characterisation, use of language, marketability, standard of writing and so on (fiction)
  • providing an assessment of your presentation, structure, accessibility of material, clarity, language, marketability, standard of writing and so on (non-fiction)
  • submitting a written report

Depending on your requirements, this can be combined with:

  • detailed editorial feedback on your manuscript
  • highlighting areas of your text that could be improved and offering specific suggestions for doing so
  • emphasising your strengths while offering constructive criticism about the weaker elements of your work
  • a full copy-edit of the manuscript