Light Copyediting

About Light Copyediting

A light copyedit is for manuscripts that have been previously edited and are only in need of a final grammar check or for authors on a particularly tight budget. A medium edit is a better fit for most books, but if you can’t afford a medium copyedit, a light edit will at least ensure that your book is free from errors.

Light copyedits focus only on grammar issues and involve checking and correcting indisputable issues with the following:

  • Abbreviations, acronyms, and special characters
  • Capitalization
  • Italics and bold type (appropriateness and consistency)
  • Numbers within the text
  • Numbering and alphabetization of footnotes, table of contents, chapters, etc.
  • Punctuation
  • References, footnotes, and other documentation
  • Spelling and hyphenation
  • Style sheet (provided upon request)
  • Syntax and usage
  • Tables, charts, graphs, illustrations, and associated captions
  • Terms (flag words that may need to be defined for readers)
  • Typecoding (on request)
  • Word usage and syntax

The following issues may be flagged with a comment but not corrected:

  • Factual inconsistencies and continuity errors
  • Permissions (flag potentially copyrighted material)
  • POV
  • Tense
  • Unclear phrasing
  • Voice
  • Wordiness*

*A light copyedit ignores wordiness within individual sentences that is not likely to cause confusion for readers. Larger sections of wordiness or sentences that are unclear will be flagged.

Light Copyedit Rates

Standard Light Copyedits

A standard light edit includes two readings that look at grammar and syntax issues. During the first reading, I correct major grammatical issues and learn your style. On the second reading, I double-check and adjust earlier edits while looking for anything missed in the first round.

By two readings, I mean that I read the manuscript twice before returning it to you. If you want the manuscript edited, returned to you for revisions, then edited again, that would be done as two separate edits. I do offer a 25 percent discount on additional services for the same book.

Single Readings

Two readings are needed to do a proper copyedit, but I offer the option of a single reading for authors who otherwise couldn’t afford a light edit.

For light copyedits that only include one reading, I do as much as possible in one reading, but how many issues I’m able to address depends on the state of the manuscript. And if there are issues that don’t reveal themselves until part way through the book (such as a shift in style or tense) a single reading won’t allow for going back to correct the earlier portion.

While a single reading won’t necessarily catch everything, especially if your manuscript is in rough condition, it is still far better than no edit.


If you have any questions or would like to schedule a light edit, don’t hesitate to contact me. Free sample edits are available for manuscripts over 20K.