A few words on how I reached where I am today.
I’m a native English speaker, although I speak and read Afrikaans as well (plus, I read German, New Testament Greek and Classical Hebrew).
In the 1980s and 1990s I taught in schools in South Africa, Namibia and then, finally, the UK.
My last post was at a UK school, where I taught GCSE English and English as a Second Language.
While I love the English language and English poetry, standing before a class of unruly teenagers wasn’t fun.
I felt like a rider daily controlling a feisty horse.
And then all that after-hours work: marking books, lesson preparation, compiling tests . . .
Eventually, I escaped from teaching and got a job as a proofreader for a UK printing/publishing company that mainly published literature to be used in UK churches.
I also wrote some of their Christian literature.
One day they asked me to proofread some material that clashed with the Bible’s clear teaching, which, as a committed Christian, I wasn’t happy to do.
So, they sacked me.
Next, self-employment called. 🙂
Copy editor – early days
Although I enjoyed proofreading, copyediting is far more interesting and pays more.
Each book throws up different challenges and I enjoy interacting with a wide array of fascinating authors, many of them famous scholars.
Copyediting of a manuscript or file precedes the proofreading process.
Here I explain copyediting in more detail.
Keen to become a full-time freelance copy editor, I took a recognized course with the prestigious Publishing Training Centre, Book House London.
I passed their copyediting course with distinction. 🙂
Soon I joined the UK Society for Editors and Proofreaders (now known as the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading) and took five of their courses. In 2002 they accepted me as an Advanced Member.
Still copyediting and proofreading in 2024
Although I set up my freelance business in 1997, I’m still copyediting and proofreading today, 27 years and 661 books later.
My clients fall into two broad categories – traditional publishers, and authors wanting either to self-publish or hoping to get a publisher to accept their book for publication.
Whether you’re a publisher or an author, my mission is to give you the best service you’ll find in the proofreading or copyediting world.
Here are just five more of the many testimonials clients have given me.
Why do I have them here?
To show you that when you hire my copyediting or proofreading service, I’ll do an excellent job for you and I’ll be a pleasure to work with.
‘SPARING MY BLUSHES’
I always enjoy working with a copy editor because it gives me a sense of security – someone is out there sparing my blushes!
In fact I’ve been amazed how quick and painless it was this time round.
~ Dr Tim Chester, author
Sincerest thanks are also due to my copy editor (and, I trust, new friend), Eldo Barkhuizen, whose tireless and cheerful efforts in getting the manuscript ready to publish are deeply appreciated.
~ Dr E. Ortlund, lecturer, Oak Hill College, London
Eldo did a marvellous job copy editing my book.
His edits were spot on in terms of grammar and style.
Real eye for detail and immediately understood what type of book I was aiming for.
Also meticulous in his communication and excellent to work with. I strongly recommend him.
~ Nick Holmes, The Roman Revolution: The Fall of the Roman Empire, Book One
We are indebted to you for your eagle eye and
expertise – not to mention your incredible speed.
We appreciated your amazing thoroughness and attention to detail and the volume can go forth with confidence into the world of scholarship thanks to your indefatigable efforts.
~ Professor Thomas A. Noble, co-author
‘A VERY COMPETENT COPYEDITOR’
Eldo is a very competent copyeditor whose work can be relied upon.
~ Janey Fisher, Editorial Project Manager,