Copy editing and proofreading are vital steps in the production of any book, textbook, magazine, journal, or other publication, either electronic or in print.


A professional set of eyes on your thesis, dissertation, or academic article can eliminate errors in mechanics, style, and format to help your ideas shine.


Clear and concise language is essential for business documents, from reports and presentations to training materials, web content, client deliverables, and more.


Whether you're submitting manuscripts to agents and acquiring editors or self-publishing as an independent author, polishing your work is key.

καθαρός: of documents, free from mistakes; of language, pure . . . also sound, clear, exact.
Liddell & Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon

Services for Publishers

My 12+ years' experience as a freelance editor includes work for textbook and trade book packagers, small independent publishers, academic journals, and online and print magazines, among others. I'm happy to learn and work with your preferred house style and processes. My standard copy editing and proofreading rates are below.

Services for Business

Clarity, coherence, and consistency are valuable in written business communication, whether you are reaching out to the public, delivering a polished product to clients, or communicating internally with colleagues. I offer quick and reliable services at the copy editing or substantive editing levels to help your writing speak to readers most effectively.

Services for Academic Writers

Academic writing must often meet very specific standards for format and style. If you're writing a thesis, dissertation, or scholarly article, I can help you with copy editing or formatting to meet the requirements for submission.

I also frequently assist academics who are writing in English as a second language and need to prepare articles for a U.S. English-speaking readership.

Services for Authors and Self-Publishers

I have worked with many individual authors to copy edit fiction and nonfiction manuscripts for self-publishing or submission to agents/editors. If you are taking the independent publishing route, I can also help with ebook formatting.

In the realm of fiction, I read in many genres but have a special interest in science fiction and fantasy, and I work on the proofreading staff for the Hugo-nominated magazine Strange Horizons; if you're a speculative fiction author in need of a copy editor, I'd be especially delighted to work with you.

Since writing is communication, clarity can only be a virtue. And although there is no substitute for merit in writing, clarity comes closest to being one.
E. B. White

Services List

I charge by the page (for text in standard manuscript format) or the word: see the Payment Information section for more on how that works.

Copy Editing

  • Standard rate: $4/page or $0.02/word ($20 minimum)
  • Rush: $8/page or $0.04/word for 24-hour turnaround

I read through the text, correct basic mechanics like spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax, and query other issues for your attention, as well as creating style sheets if needed to ensure consistency. Chicago is my default style manual, but I can work with other house styles as needed. For academic work, I can check for compliance with particular styles such as APA or Chicago/Turabian.

I typically use the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word to mark my edits, so please email documents for copy editing in Word format (.doc or .docx) if possible. Suggesting mode in Google Docs is another option if you don't have access to Word. I can also work with PDFs or other file types such as PowerPoint presentations, but marking changes may be more difficult in these cases. Finally, I can mark up paper manuscripts if necessary.

Substantive Editing

  • Standard rate: $6.50/page or $0.03/word ($30 minimum)
  • Rush: $13/page or $0.06/word for 24-hour turnaround

Substantive or content editing is close to rewriting. I work to improve the general clarity and flow of the text by eliminating wordiness, redundancy, and inappropriate word choices, smoothing transitions, rephrasing awkward passages, and reconstructing and moving sentences and paragraphs. The result is a shorter, more fluid, and more concise text.

Please note: my policy is not to do substantive editing on student work—sorry.


  • Standard rate: $2.50/page or $0.01/word ($20 minimum)
  • Rush: $5/page or $0.02/wordfor 24-hour turnaround

These rates apply to PDF proofs of publications/materials that have already been copy edited. I can check the proofs against the style sheet and the original text if needed, and mark corrections and queries with the Acrobat commenting tools. (If your publication uses paper proofs or another format, contact me for a rate estimate.)

Proofreading is a final check before printing to catch typographical errors, formatting or layout problems, and any minor corrections the copy editor may have missed. If you have a manuscript or document that needs an initial pass for grammar and style corrections, see copy editing.

Academic Formatting

  • Standard rate: $2/page ($20 minimum)
  • Rush: $4/page for 24-hour turnaround

I can format your dissertation, thesis, or article in Word (sorry, no LaTeX) according to the guidelines of your school or a particular journal, including citations/references, footnotes or endnotes, headings, page numbering, margins, table of contents, and tables/figures.

APA and Chicago/Turabian are the citation styles I work with most often. I can fill in missing information for references (such as authors, dates, publisher locations, etc.) if it is easily accessible online, but there may be an additional charge if you need a full bibliography or reference list constructed from notes.

Note: This does not include any copy editing of the text.

Kindle Formatting

  • Standard rate: $1/page ($20 minimum)
  • Rush: $2/page for 24-hour turnaround

I can format your manuscript to meet Amazon's requirements for uploading to the Kindle Store.

Note: This does not include any copy editing of the text.

Payment Information

Page/Word Rates

The standard manuscript page format I use to calculate rates is 8.5" x 11", double-spaced, default Word margins, 12 point Times New Roman. For text in other formats, I charge the per-word rates. For proofreading PDFs, I use the PDF page count. Charges are calculated based on the initial length before editing.


For short projects, I bill when the job is completed. For long editing projects (over 100 pages), I may require 50% up front and 50% on completion. In special circumstances, I will consider installment plans or other individualized payment arrangements. Payments are due within 30 days of billing.

Monthly Billing Accounts

If you or your organization will need my services on a continuing basis, I can bill you for your total page or word count each month. This simplifies payment and lets you avoid minimum charges for individual documents.

Accepted Forms of Payment

All charges are in U.S. dollars. You can mail a check or money order, or send a credit card payment via PayPal by clicking the button below.


For more information or to request a price/time quote, email me (Tahlia Day) at

Please include the details of your project, the length of the document or manuscript, and your deadline if you have one. I'll get back to you as soon as possible. For time-sensitive or rush jobs, please also attach the document to your initial email so I can respond with your quote right away.

If you're seeking an editor for a lengthy project or for ongoing work, I can edit a few pages of your writing as a free sample to help with your decision.

Tahlia Day
katharos editing | proofreading
3325 Prairie Glade Rd
Middleton, WI 53562