Writing a Book and Need Help with Your Copy-Editing or Proofreading?


Then you’re on the right page.

Let’s face it – it’s tough to spot the mistakes in our own writing. We’re too near the text and tend to read it with blinkered eyes.

It’s a common, and serious, problem when writing a book or web content.

Copy riddled with errors – be they spelling, grammatical or factual – will make your readers squirm. And if you want to impress a publisher or literary agent, you haven’t a snowflake’s chance in the Sahara.

But why continue to struggle on your own, worrying about the finer points of grammar, punctuation or whether you’ve misspelled any words?

Why wrestle with how long or short your paragraphs should be or whether or not you’ve used the right tone of voice and got your message over clearly to your target audience?

Why worry about what literary agents or publishers look for in a manuscript or electronic file, and whether your first three chapters are good enough to stay out of the dreaded slush pile?

You don’t need to struggle alone, because I’m here to help you. I’ve worked in the publishing industry for 19 years (since 1997) and have insider knowledge of the book publication process.

If your book has a chance of success (in my professional opinion), I’ll say so. If it doesn’t, I’ll be honest but fix the problems if you’d like me to.

However, I can’t guarantee that after I’ve helped you a traditional literary agent or publisher will accept your book. No professional copy editor or proofreader would ever make such a promise.

All I can do is help you smooth your way to possible success.

Contact Expert Copy Editor Eldo Barkhuizen

“A Rare and Valuable Find”

“Eldo Barkhuizen has two important qualities rarely found in the same copywriter.

“First, he writes in an engaging and persuasive manner.

“Second, he writes with absolute precision.

“It’s that combination of persuasion and precision that makes him such a rare and valuable find.”
~ Nick Usborne, author of Copywriting 2.0: Your Complete Guide to Writing Web Copy that Converts

Writing a book – and getting it published?

But who am I and why should you trust me?

Because English is my first language and I

  • have a university degree with a major in English Literature;
  • studied five languages at university, so have a good grasp of grammar;
  • taught English to senior-school students;
  • received a distinction for the Publishing Training Centre’s (London) copy-editing course;
  • have 19 years’ experience copy-editing books for major UK and US publishers;
  • am familiar with both UK and US English
  • have copy-edited and/or proofread 486 books;
  • have over 50 testimonials from happy authors and publishers;
  • know what publishers look for in a book.

The services I offer you

Depending on your budget, I offer you four services:

1. An evaluation of your first three chapters (with comments inserted, using Microsoft Word’s “New Comment” function):

  • Is your content tailored to your audience?
  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Consistency of style for notes, bibliographies and citations
  • General consistency of style
  • Artwork and figure captions
  • Quotations

2. An evaluation of your whole book (checking each of the areas above), not just the first three chapters

3. Detailed copy-editing (using Microsoft Word’s “Track Changes” tool):

  • Correct spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors
  • Querying words/phrases not suited to your target audience
  • Checking that you have sufficient subheadings
  • Checking your hierarchy of subheadings
  • Checking that the table of contents matches the chapter titles and running heads
  • Sentences and paragraphs – their length
  • Consistency of spellings throughout
  • Illustrations and tables positioned correctly and captions styled consistently
  • List of artwork and tables in the preliminary pages to match the captions in the text
  • Checking for libellous statements
  • Checking that permissions have been sought for extensive prose quotes or for poetry or music lyrics

4. Proofreading: writing a book is a complex process that includes formatting and typesetting.

Once your pages are printed or produced in portable document format (pdf), a proofreader has to ensure the various page elements appear correctly:

  • Preliminary pages
  • Table of contents checked against chapter headings
  • Running heads
  • Spacing between and around the various page elements correct
  • Titles and subtitles
  • Prose and verse extracts
  • “Widows” and “orphans”
  • End-of-line wordbreaks
  • Number of words at the end of a paragraph on a new line
  • Minimum number of characters on a line
  • Minimum number of lines at the end of a chapter
  • Page rectos and versos numbered oddly and evenly
  • Pages numbered correctly and in the right order
  • Correct spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors the copy editor missed

How will you benefit from my help?

  • The text in your book will look polished and professional
  • You’ll come across as a more expert writer
  • Reviewers who read your book will not be put off by punctuation, spelling or grammatical errors
  • Publishers or literary agents will be more willing to read it in detail
  • This reduces the stumbling blocks in the way of a traditional publisher or literary agent taking on your book
  • The quality of your text will impress your friends, family and readers
  • You’ll have a book to be proud of (if the cover, blurb on the back of your book and typesetting have also been done professionally and the paper is of a high quality)

My guarantee to you

In the unlikely event you’re unhappy with my work, I’ll redo the part you’re not pleased with.

I want you to be delighted with my work and sing my praises to other self-publishers.

So rest assured, just as I do for all my clients, I’ll give you a first-rate service.

Hire my copy-editing or proofreading service today

Don’t just close your eyes and hope for the best once you send your first three chapters to a publisher or your book goes to print or gets published online.

Typescripts or electronic files with spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors have zero chance of being reviewed. And you want to steer clear of the slush pile at all costs.

Why not get your manuscript copy-edited, proofread and looking professional instead? You stand a far better chance of inching apart the doors to fame and fortune.

Phone or email me today and let’s make contact.

To your success as a published author!

Copy Editor Eldo Barkhuizen's signature

Writing-a-book, ebook and web-content help from a professional copy editor and proofreader with 19 years’ experience with major UK and US publishers

Contact Expert Copy Editor Eldo Barkhuizen