Photograph of pages and red pen

Once your manuscript has been handed over to production, your managing desk editor will introduce you to your copy-editor. We have a trusted pool of freelance copyeditors, many of whom have been working on our books for years and are familiar with our subject areas. Copy-editing takes 4 to 6 weeks.

The purpose of copy-editing is to have a fresh pair of eyes look over your typescript to make sure that it is as error-free as possible. Your copy-editor will check that your manuscript is complete, read it for typographical errors and ensure that the style guidelines are consistently applied. They will contact you directly with any queries as they work through your manuscript. These queries might be to do with dates in references and citations; to request missing bibliographic entries; or to clear up any inconsistencies.

Copy-editors also prepare a list of running heads, which they will send you for approval. If your book is illustrated, they will check that all of the illustrations are correctly cited, that the placing is marked and that the captions have been supplied.

Once the copy-edit is complete, your copy-editor will return the edited version of your manuscript to us. We then check the edits and send your manuscript for typesetting. At this point, your managing desk editor will let you know when you can expect to receive your proofs (this will usually be around 5 months after your initial manuscript submission).

Next steps