Fiction editing and proofreading 

I offer copyediting and proofreading for self-publishing/independent authors and publishers. Developmental and line editing aim to improve writing; copyediting and proofreading aim to correct writing. Copyediting and proofreading are vital for refining your manuscript once all the big-picture issues of your story are settled and you’re happy with the structure. They focus on the micro-level elements of your writing and on readability, correcting errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling and applying stylistic consistency. 

I specialise in copyediting and proofreading the following fiction genres: historical, fantasy, speculative, crime, mystery, literary and contemporary fiction.

I have worked on books in the following sub-genres for self-publishing authors or authors who are looking for agents/publishers:

  • Historical fiction: adventure, romance, crime/thriller, alternate history, dual timeline, YA, literary, family saga
  • Fantasy, sci-fi and speculative fiction: high fantasy, historical fantasy, dystopian fiction, sci-fi spy fiction, contemporary fiction with a supernatural element, adult fantasy adventure

My favourite authors are Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, S. J. Parris, C. J. Sansom, Kathy Reichs, Daphne du Maurier, Deborah Harkness, Naomi Novik,  Philippa Gregory and Winston Graham.

I can copyedit and proofread a variety of written material, such as:

  • Fiction books for publishers
  • Fiction books for self-publishing/independent authors
  • Writing competition entries
  • Web pages
  • Blogs
  • Newsletters, booklets and information sheets
  • Promotional material, e.g. leaflets, brochures and posters.
On my testimonials, portfolio and case studies page, you can see examples of previous editing projects. See below for details on what each service involves.


Big-picture issues such as characterisation, plot, structure or pacing are the responsibility of a developmental editor. Once your manuscript has been through developmental editing, a copyedit is needed to focus on individual sentences and paragraphs and on readability.

Copyediting involves making sure the micro-level elements of your writing are all correct, consistent and appropriate, such as spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, formatting, editorial style and facts. I’ll also check your story for consistency, anomalies and logic and ensure that your writing flows well, any distractions are removed, and your tone and style remain consistent. ​I’m always careful to preserve your personal style and narrative voice.


Proofreading involves a final check for grammar, punctuation, spelling, typos, page layout and formatting errors after the manuscript has been edited and typeset and before it is published or sent out to agents/publishers. Typically coming after the copyedit, it’s the last stage in the editing process and helps make sure your novel meets professional editorial standards. It catches errors and consistency issues that have been missed or introduced inadvertently during earlier rounds of editing and formatting. This will avoid readers being confused or distracted and ensure that your writing is accurate, consistent, professional and as reader-friendly as possible.

If your novel hasn’t been through previous rounds of professional editing, this service probably isn’t for you.

How I Work

I edit in Word, using Track Changes to show my suggested amendments and comments. You can accept and reject changes in the marked-up copy as you like. If your book has already been professionally edited and laid out, I can proofread the PDF and will mark it up using Tools and Comments in Adobe.

I will keep in touch with you throughout the project, and I will respond promptly to any queries that you may have. I may email you with any queries during the edit and will amend the manuscript with your answers. When I return the edited manuscript to you, I’ll also send the final invoice and a style sheet. The style sheet records decisions about hyphenation, numbering, capitalisation, spelling choices and punctuation style to ensure consistency in your writing.

How long does it take?

This depends on the length of your book, the level of editing required and my schedule.

Sample edits

If you wish, I will provide a free, no-obligation, 1000-word sample edit to allow you to decide whether you would like me to work on your book.


For information about how to get a quote and details about my pricing, please go to my pricing and quotes page. If you have any projects that you would like me to work on, or if you need more information, please contact me

"I hired Rachael to proofread my debut alternate history work, The Cyclone's Eye. Her attention to detail was just what my manuscript needed in its final proofreading round. Judging by some of her insightful comments and observations, I can tell she would also make an excellent developmental editor and copyeditor. I definitely recommend her, especially but not exclusively to writers of historical fiction, for any level of editing, and I will be back when the sequel to The Cyclone's Eye is ready for professional editing."

T. J. Farlow, Author of Historical Fiction/Fantasy

I just wanted to thank you again for your tremendous help. You've worked wonders with my manuscript, removing repetition, showing me where content has been duplicated, and drawing attention to gendered language. I'm highly confident my book is much tidier and reads much better as a result.

I’d like to thank copyeditor and proofreader Rachael Mortimer for her revisions, which corrected and helped my writing’s flow.

Alex James, Science-Fiction and Fantasy Author

Rachael’s work on my new anthology exceeded my expectations, and has been paramount in ensuring the language is accurate and consistent throughout the book. The stories are set in different places around the world, and Rachael adjusted the text to make the spelling/punctuation match accordingly. I am very grateful for the work, and won’t hesitate to hire her for future projects. How it was completed so fast I don’t know. I can only assume that Rachael is some sort of wizard.

Luke Melia, Author

My sincere thanks to Rachael Mortimer at Her thorough and professional proofreading of my chapter book for children has given me confidence that it is ready (as it ever will be) for submission. I was working to a deadline and Rachael provided a response in plenty of time for me to make the changes I needed. Her suggested amendments were easy to follow and extremely helpful."

Emma Dykes, Independent Author