Editing Services

What Types of Documents Do You Edit?

First Editing is equipped to edit ANY type of document you can write! Over the past 10 years, we’ve perfected tens of thousands of manuscripts, books, ebooks, theses, dissertations, essays, letters, websites, articles, scripts, business proposals, poetry, and more! Let us transform your draft into a perfectly edited masterpiece! Click HERE for a FREE sample edit and price quote…

I’m in a Rush! How Quickly Can You Proofread & Edit My Writing?

Projects less than 50 pages are completed in just 2-3 business days. Longer documents (manuscripts, dissertations, etc.) require 7-10 business days depending on their length. If you order multiple documents totaling 50+ pages, they can all still be completed in the standard 3 day timeframe since each document may  be assigned to a different editing team simultaneously. Additionally, 1-2 day rush services are also available. See our order form for more details.

Who Does the Editing?

Professional editors of successfully published books, journals, articles, and more are working around the clock to ensure your editing is letter-perfect and delivered according to your deadline. Each editor has a minimum of TEN years worth of professional writing & editing experience. Show us some of YOUR writing and we’ll send YOU a FREE editing sample!

What Guarantees Do You Offer?

First Editing is one of the very few online  editing services that GUARANTEES client satisfaction! If there is ANYTHING about our work with which you are not 100% satisfied, we will correct it at no additional charge. First Editing is also the ONLY service of its kind to GUARANTEE on-time completion. We NEVER miss a deadline…EVER!! Read more about our Editing Satisfaction Guarantee. 

How Much Will It Cost to Edit My Document?

Our basic rates vary from just 1 U.S. cent per word to just over 3 U.S. cents per word. Most basic copy editing that does not require rush delivery costs between $0.0097 and $0.013 USD per word (approximately one cent per word). Larger orders often cost even less. Factors influencing your total price are document type, length of manuscript, turnaround time required, & level of editing required. For a free, no-obligation price quote, CLICK HERE.

Is This Service Confidential?

First Editing does NOT sell, transfer, or share ANY client information with ANY other party. Our contact forms are on secure/SSL servers and all documents reviewed by our editors remain the intellectual property of you, the original author. Click here to view our Privacy Policy.

Should I List You as an Editor in My Completed/Published Work?

It is a commonly accepted practice for writers to credit First Editing as their editor. While we do not require that any of our clients do so, appropriate credit is, of course, always appreciated.

Copy Editing

When Do I Need Copy Editing?

Copy editing is your final step in the editing process. You need a copy edit directly before formatting your manuscript.

Request a professional copy edit if you have a completed manuscript, are genuinely confident in its current state, and have no plans for additional revisions to your writing. We will then perfect it in preparation for publishing!

After copy editing and accepting all final corrections, you can proceed with formatting your book before professional proofreading services and publishing.

Copy editing fixes any remaining problems with spelling, grammar, and consistency of language use. It is fundamental but vital. Thus, it is a highly necessary level of editing to ensure you are appropriately prepared to further embark on your publishing journey.

With a basic copy edit, your writing is free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors while ensuring consistency. Copy editing includes evaluating your word usage, eliminating jargon, and removing repetitious words. Plus, your professional copy editor provides style consistency and compositional spacing.

This level of editing service is efficient and straightforward. Your professional copy editor focuses on ensuring your writing has clarity. After copy editing, you can have confidence that you are communicating clearly.

Indeed, copy editing is the writing industry’s final step in the editing process!

What Is Copy Editing?

Copy editing is the most essential and fundamental preparation that you need before publishing. Copy editing is checking for accuracy and consistency in your manuscript. It is the process of reviewing and correcting documents for readability. As a result, copy editing ensures that your writing is free of errors.

Specifically, copy editing takes your raw text material and prepares it for publication. Copy editing is done before formatting and is the final step in the editorial process.

A basic copy edit includes checking your grammar, spelling, and punctuation for accuracy; ensuring consistency in your writing, word choices, style and compositional spacing; and eliminating jargon and repetitious words. It is your final edit before proofreading and publishing.

Your professional copy editor provides you with precise edits individually outlined in Microsoft Word’s Track Changes. You just review the final document and accept each change as appropriate.

Thus, you learn more about your writing strengths and weaknesses in this editorial process by identifying crutch words and repetitious mistakes.

With basic copy editing, you can confidently assess your writing, make all necessary corrections, and move forward in the publishing process.

What Is a Professional Copy Editor?

A professional copy editor helps you achieve clarity in your writing and style by carefully reviewing and correcting your every word for intent and grammar. Your copy editor also determines that the specific details, names, dates, and locations within your writing are consistent.

Professional copy editors have the trained skills of a proofreader combined with the expertise of reviewing various styles of writing.  Additionally, they can ensure that your writing adheres to your required style guide for acceptance and publication.

A professional copy editor is your best friend when you need to honestly assess your basic writing skills. Your copy editor provides neutral and constructive criticism so that you can grow as a writer and improve some repetitive errors within basic grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Anytime you have ANY writing that you plan to publish, distribute, or share publicly, you need a copy editor. They help build and maintain your reputation and credibility as a writer, researcher, and professional.

First impressions are so incredibly important. Don’t gamble your future publishing opportunities and reputation with grammar or spelling mistakes.

If you feel that you need more than just a copy edit, consider either line editing or copy editing. These are higher levels of editing which provide a much broader evaluation of your writing, structure, and organization.

If you are unsure about what type of editing you genuinely need, contact a professional editor. They can assess where you are in the writing process and which editing level would serve you best; content editing, line editing, or copy editing.

We are happy to discuss the various editing levels with you via phone, chat, or email. However, we would rather SHOW you what editing level is best by providing a professional evaluation and free editing sample of your writing.

Are you ready for copy editing?  If so, we’d be more than happy to help you with it.  Click here to get started.

Standard Line Editing

Do I Need Line Editing?

Standard Line Editing is a more in-depth level of editing than copy editing. It is the industry standard most recommended by agents and university professors.

Line editing is recommended prior to submitting your manuscript for review, application or public distribution. It is the expected and necessary level of editing to seek when you have been advised to get professional editing.

With a standard line edit you achieve a more thorough evaluation than basic copy editing. In addition to grammar, spelling, punctuation, and word consistency, your professional line editor helps you with transitional phrases, feedback regarding your writing, and support of your statements.

In general, line editing is about tightening your overall writing so that it is a smooth read and supports all your statements. It is the professional standard of editing for today’s writing, research, and publishing industry. Many agents will require a line edit before review (and hopefully acceptance!).

Basic copy editing assures you that your writing is free from apparent mistakes before approaching agents, submitting for peer review, or releasing your manuscript publicly.

Yes, you probably need at least a line edit for your manuscript, especially if this is your first time hiring a professional editor.

What is Line Editing?

Line editing checks your basic spelling, grammar, and punctuation while also evaluating and correcting the tone, style, and consistency of your writing. Your manuscript is read “line-by-line” during this process to ensure that it is technically prepared for publication and distribution.

Line editing includes reviewing your word usage for crutches, overuse, and misuse in the document. Your editor will offer replacements or eliminate some words entirely.

A professional line editor dissects your style so you can improve as an author, industry authority, or academic researcher. The line editor identifies your strengths and weaknesses revealed in your various writing patterns.

As such, your line editor perfects your sentence structure and subject-verb agreements within these. Transitional phrasing is evaluated to ensure your statements flow smoothly from one idea to the next.

In conclusion, a standard line edit includes basic copy editing which corrects spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word usage; eliminates jargon and repetition; and ensures style consistency and compositional spacing.

Line editing goes beyond this by checking for subject-verb agreement, correcting sentence structure, and including transitional phrasing.

Your professional line editor also improves the continuity and flow of your writing and support statements. Additionally, you get all of the line editing changes highlighted and supported with remarks and some minor feedback throughout your manuscript.

If you are unsure if standard line editing is the appropriate editing level for you, please compare editing services. Compare line editing it with copy editing and content editing.

Ideally, contact a professional editor for a recommendation regarding your specific manuscript.

We would love to assist you personally via phone, chat, or email to assess your needs better. Additionally, we offer a professional editorial review of your writing with a free editing sample which will recommend the exact editing level appropriate for your writing.

Instead of making a decision today, why don’t you let us give you a free sample? Click here to get yours.

What is a Professional Line Editor?

Your professional content editor reviews your writing with precision to catch inconsistent speech, style, or thematic variances. Their job is to make sure your manuscript achieves a professional level of readability.

By adjusting your language tone and usage, a line editor ensures your writing is consistent, professional, and appealing to your specific target audience while supporting your statements.

Line editors often make important suggestions for improvement. For instance, your line editor may recommend confirming or supporting your statements by providing citations or referencing sources of authority. They will remove overused, redundant, or extraneous words as well as run-on sentences.

Your editor will also correct unnatural phrasing or inappropriate transitions to ensure that the meaning is clear. Furthermore, line editors provide some direction and recommendations for words and phrases that enhance or clarify your writing overall.

Line editing is the professional standard within the writing industry. Hire a professional line editor to ensure that your writing presentation and techniques are correct.

Content Editing

What is Content Editing? (Developmental/Substantive/Structural)

Content editing is also called developmental, structural, and substantive editing.

Basically, it is the stylistic review of your manuscript. This “style” refers to both literature and research. (However, technical editing is obviously always performed by a qualified academic content editor familiar with your formal style guide.)

Content editing polishes your use of language while maintaining your voice. Your professional content editor ensures that your text makes sense, presents cohesively, and maintains a believable proposal, defense, dialogue, and/or plot line.

In research and professional writing, content editing ensures that your writing style, statements, and presentation support your message and its overall purpose or intent.

Premium content editing is genuinely the big-picture approach to publishing. Your professional content editor reworks your writing to ensure the narrative flows smoothly while every word positively contributes to the manuscript’s purpose.

Most importantly, with content editing you receive in-depth personal and professional editorial comments throughout your manuscript which advance your writing skills for future projects. Many authors value this neutral feedback from a hired professional as it is often this insight they desire most.

Content editing ensures you effectively use your language to tell your story as a fiction author and persuasively convey your message as a nonfiction authority. As a researcher, it ensures you are fully representing your proposal while supporting your statements solidly and accurately.

Content editing is the most critical step in publishing and recommended after your initial draft. It is ideal from the beginning.

Your professional content editor takes an important high-level approach to your writing style, creative content, presentation of facts, organization of support, approach to subject, and use of English language. It’s the big picture of your document.

Do I Need a Content Edit?

Content editing looks at the big picture and asks, “What is your story/message/purpose?”

Premium content editing is also known as structural editing, substantive editing, and developmental editing. Thus, content editing is comprehensive.

Content editing is a combination of a stylistic editing approach and professional copy edit. This includes the basics of copy editing plus all the tricky details of line editing while approaching your writing from a more holistic perspective and purpose.

However, content editing goes much further than line editing by polishing and perfecting your manuscript’s message as a whole.

Content editing transforms good writers into published authors recognized within their field and genre.

This substantive editing is the most in-depth and detailed editing level available. Thus, content editing is considered the premium standard in today’s industry.

Developmental content editing is the writing industry’s most comprehensive standard which evaluates the overall structure and organization of your writing.

With a structural edit, your document is inspected and corrected for internal discrepancies and inconsistencies. Therefore, it often includes some minor rewriting and polishing.

Any extremely difficult passages within your manuscript that cause concern will be highlighted and given in-depth feedback. These personal corrections enable you, as the author, to make the most appropriate revisions and rewrites as you choose.

Thus, your professional developmental content editor provides comments throughout your manuscript so that you can adapt the overall presentation according to the feedback given.

Content editing ensures your writing is free of embarrassing mistakes, anomalies, or ambiguities. Therefore, your professional content editor is your go-to partner who helps you maintain a professional appearance and reputation as a writer, academic, or professional.

When Do I Need Content Editing?

Content editing is your ideal choice upon completing your manuscript’s first draft when you desire honest feedback and thorough professional guidance. Choose substantive content editing prior to peer review or public distribution as it is comprehensive

Content editing is also highly recommended for first-time authors and non-native English writers.

Most importantly, developmental content editing is NECESSARY for manuscripts requiring extensive corrections of English grammar, clarity, or comprehension.

What is a Professional Content Editor?

Your professional content editor reviews in-depth every word, thought, idea, statement, detail, and reference to ensure that it is contributing positively to your document’s entire presentation and purpose.

A structural content editor provides the most in-depth and detailed editing level available. Thus, content editing is considered the premium standard in today’s industry.

In short, comprehensive developmental content editors transform everyday writers into published authors.

Some areas that a fiction and nonfiction content editor will address include:

  • Dialogue or paragraphs that can be tightened
  • Passages that don’t read well due to bland language use
  • Confusing narrative digressions
  • Changes that can be made to improve the pacing of a passage

Substantive content editors for academic research and technical writing may address issues such as:

  • Statements which need support or elaboration
  • Defining clarity of purpose for information presented
  • Polishing the use of English language for a more natural read
  • Inserting transitional phrases for flow and progression
  • Reducing and simplifying word choices

Additionally, content editors follow the formal style guides necessary for your writing, genre, professional field, organization, university, industry, or journal.

A professional content editor approaches your project from a high-level perspective. They will review, inspect, dissect, and replace passages according to your document’s purposes and goals.

If you are a fiction writer and have an ongoing dialogue or plotline, your editor checks to make sure it is plausible and believable.

If you are a nonfiction writer with strong statements or facts, your content editor ensures that the information clearly states and strongly supports your manuscript’s proposal.

Research with extensive technical details requires consistency in presentation with support statements, facts, and references throughout your study. Your content editor will ensure that these are all presented clearly and effectively within the English language.

Regardless, a professional content editor ensures a flow within all documents that provides quality and consistency to your writing style, its subject, and the surrounding details.

A structural content editor insists that you are delivering the best quality product possible.

Content editing is ideal for all fiction, nonfiction, and academic authors including marketing, advertising, website ad-copy, instructional manuals, books, academic writing, research, and much more.

Not sure what type of editing YOU need? Find out with a free professional editing sample and a recommendation from a professional content editor.

If you’re ready to get started with content editing, click here.


What Is Proofreading?

Proofreading checks the formatted, edited document before publication. Proofing your formatted material is your final line of defense before publishing.

Proofreading is not editing.

Your proofreader carefully reviews your final work and the editing already performed on the document. Again, proofreading is not editing — it is checking the work of your editor combined with the formatting one last time.

Proofreading is essential, and it happens before publishing.

We only recommend proofreading if you feel 99% ready for publishing and have a formatted document. Then you may request a final proof and confirmation that you are prepared to publish and distribute.

Proofreading happens after formatting.

Professional proofreading services include checking your final document for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It is your last proof before publication.

Proofreading is a post-editing service. It happens after extensive editing and revisions as it is the last review – after formatting and before publishing.

Again – did we mention that proofreading happens after formatting?

Proofreading catches the smallest typos and provides a quality check. It is the final cleanse before publication.

Proofreading is your last step before publishing a document; handing in your work to a journal, professor or other authority; submitting an application; or sharing your manuscript with an audience.

Professional proofreading is also excellent for business documents as it protects your reputation.

Furthermore, proofreading happens after editing. It is not editing. If your professional proofreader discovers that your text needs extensive corrections or revisions, they will immediately advise you of the most appropriate level of editing that serves your needs entirely.

If you have a formatted manuscript and still have lingering concerns about your writing, you may want to return to editing. Once you are confident in the content, choose to proofread. Your proof is that final stamp of approval that you desire and need to publish with confidence.

What Is a Professional Proofreader?

Professional proofreaders check your text before it is printed or published. Proofing ensures your writing is correct and complete.  A professional proofreader checks merely for errors but makes no revisions of the text as a whole. All corrections to the sentences and word compositions should occur before proofreading.

A proofreader provides you the final assurance that your writing is ready for publication. Proofreading ensures your content is free of spelling, punctuation, grammar, typographical, and fundamental formatting errors.

Lastly, a final proofread is just that – the final stage of correction before publishing.

There are no comments, suggestions, evaluations, or feedback during this last review. You will get the necessary corrections made on your text without reference to your overall presentation, style, or support of statements/facts within your document.

Proofreaders provide the technical evaluation without any regard to the content’s message.

What Is the Difference Between Editing and Proofreading?

While proofreading is your final review before printing or publication, editing is the correction and tweaking of your writing. Depending on what level of editing you choose, your professional editor’s job is to help perfect your writing before formatting.

Although proofreading corrects your grammar, spelling, and punctuation, editing provides much more. Today’s minimal industry standard for basic editing is the copy edit. Copy editing entails correcting your grammar, spelling, and punctuation – just like proofreading – plus so much more.

Copy editing includes correcting your semantics and adjusting your writing to the chosen manual or style guide for self-publishing or preparing it for the publisher’s house style if you have a contract. Your professional copy editor evaluates your word usage, eliminates jargon, and removes repetitious words. Plus, your copy editor ensures there is compositional spacing.

There are also more in-depth levels of editing which include standard line editing and premium content editing.

Mostly, your editing choice is highly dependent upon your needs. If you don’t know what you need, then it is vital to get a professional evaluation of your writing with an apt recommendation from your editor or proofreader before you contract professional services.