It’s no mystery

Quality Copyediting
Makes Good Books Great

Your story, my support

Does the prospect of copyediting give you the shivers?

As if the process of writing a work of mystery fiction isn’t scary enough, every author who’s treading the shadowy path to publication will eventually come face to face with the specter of copyediting. Terrifying to new authors, nerve-wracking even for experienced ones.

Sometimes, authors imagine an editor driving a stake through the heart of their story or sucking the life out of their dialogue. They may have heard horror stories from writers who handed over their book baby and got it back in tatters. Naturally, they’re nervous about exposing their creative jugular to a book butcher.

Be brave, wordsmith. Believe in your story. Trust your copyeditor to be on your side.

Copyediting serves your story.

Any reader can give you a thumbs up or thumbs down. A copyeditor is a reader who sees the strengths in your manuscript and has the expertise to give you objective, constructive advice for improvement where it’s needed.

Their experienced eye spots the small things you missed while you were focused on the big picture of your plot. They bring spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting up to industry standards. They point out inconsistencies that could confuse the reader. They clear away the cobwebs of wordiness so your writing is able to shine.

By helping you improve the flow of your text, the copyeditor also serves the reader, allowing them to lose themselves in your story. My copyediting goal is to help you publish a mystery people won’t be able to put down. A great reader experience leads to positive reviews and recommendations that build your audience and increase sales.

You see? Not so scary after all.

I’m the editor at For over 25 years, I’ve been helping writers polish their stories for print and web publication. I offer independent authors professional-level copyediting with a personal touch. Through active involvement with professional organizations, I maintain my skills and promote the value of creative work.

Lynn Varon

podcast: Enhancing Your Manuscript through Editing

Enhancing Your Manuscript through Editing

Insights from Editor Lynn Varon

Join hosts Kathleen and Adanna for another insightful episode of Talking Book Publishing as they get into the nitty-gritty of manuscript editing with Lynn Varon, a seasoned editor. Lynn sheds light on common manuscript pitfalls while sharing her editing journey fueled by a lifelong passion for reading and a keen eye for good writing.

Exploring the editor’s role further, the three discuss the delicate balance between constructive criticism from your editor while preserving the writer’s vision and acknowledging the value of finding an editor who aligns with the author’s goals.



What is copyediting?

Copyediting is the process of fine-tuning the language of your story and checking for consistency throughout your manuscript. It comes after the line editing and beta reading stages, when your story is in its final draft.

I suggest ways to improve the flow of your text and dialogue, make sure the details of settings, characters, and timelines match throughout the manuscript. It’s your book—you can accept or reject any of my suggestions.

I apply the rules of The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) to spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and text formatting in a way that serves your writing style. I compile a list of the style choices I’ve applied for your reference.

What is proofreading?

Proofreading is the last step before publication. I focus on small errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, text formatting, spacing, word breaks, etc. A copyeditor’s style sheet makes proofreading easier and less expensive.

How much do you charge?

My customized quotes are based on your manuscript’s word length, complexity, turnaround time, and other factors. Copyediting starts at 2.5 cents per word. Proofreading starts at 1.5 cents per word.

What Writers Say about Great Editors

"A great experience!"

It takes courage to submit your book baby to an editor for scrutiny. A great editor is a collaborator, giving gentle but solid feedback, explaining their editorial reasoning, and providing a positive experience overall.

"Very encouraging!"

Copyediting isn’t all about criticism. A great editor points out the book’s strengths as well as areas for improvement, and leaves the writer feeling encouraged about the progress of their work.


Editors understand the effective use of language in storytelling. A great editor knows when to apply the rules and when breaking them helps the author achieve their storytelling goal.

Great copyediting

A Cozy Experience, Not a Horror Story

Video by JulioFeliz from Pixabay



My Services


Focused on the language and consistency of your story and formatting in Chicago style. Performed on a Word document, using Track Changes.

    • Word choices and text flow
    • Natural-sounding dialogue
    • Spelling and capitalization
    • Punctuation
    • Internal consistency
    • Custom style sheet
    • Chicago style (CMOS)
Per Word (Minimum)



Confirms that all copyediting changes were correctly implemented; a final sweep of the book layout for text and formatting errors before print or ebook publication.

    • Punctuation
    • Spelling and capitalization
    • Extra spaces
    • Bad word breaks
    • Page numbering
    • Chapter headings
    • Chicago style (CMOS)
Per Word (Minimum)



An author website is an essential marketing tool. Increase your exposure, build your reader base, and project a professional image.

    • WordPress platform
    • Your copy and images
    • One or more pages
    • Expandable
    • Mobile and tablet optimized
    • Hosting available
    • Consulting
Per Hour (Minimum)