Proofreading, copyediting or ghostwriting?

Ever wondered whether you need proofreading, copyediting or ghostwriting?
It can be hard to tell which of these services you need for your current project. Firstly, I’ll break down what each means and why you might need it. Putting your work on display without seeking the below services is like preparing for the party of the year but neglecting to put on a fabulous outfit. 


It’s also important to note that editors and proofreaders are not always copywriters (unless you are multifaceted like I happen to be). ​




Proofreading is the detailed talent of going through each and every word and piece of syntax in your written work. It identifies spelling errors and incorrect or missing grammatical marks.


One of the most common things I see when I am proofreading is misspelling words by writing their American counterpart. UK and Australian English use different spelling for the same words a lot of the time. If you are an avid consumer of American culture, you might not even realise [realize] that you’re spelling things differently. 

Proofreading adds a more professional layer and content to your work, which is important if it is public facing. 

You need proofreading if you are a writer or have lots of experience writing and just need that final polish to your work before it is published or shared. 


Copyediting is the rigorous reviewing of written work. However, copyediting is not just spellchecking. It goes beyond that and it requires skills in knowing how to structure work, how readers think and how to order topics. 

Often, copyediting also involves fact checking of names, dates and titles. I generally recommend what is known as a “hard edit” when it comes to copyediting. 


Hard edit
The hard edit includes sentence and paragraph structure, thorough proofreading as well as consistency for style, topic order (how the entire manuscript is structured) and correct grammar.

This type of copyediting will include improved word choice and readability, consistent tone, eliminate repetitive, redundant and awkward phrasing, consistent language to appeal to your demographic (readers and potential publishers). It will also include suggestions for weak story points and additional points that are suggested to write.

An overall structural edit will also be supplied, meaning the order of topics, the flow of the writing and manuscript, chapters and time structure may be changed or suggested differently (where appropriate).

This hard edit is also known as a stylistic, line edit or developmental edit and does not include significant rewriting or ghostwriting.

Great for: books, manuscripts, larger documents, annual reports, magazines, lengthy writing, essays/academic papers.

Who should get copyediting: if you’re a subject matter expert but not a professional writer or editor and have written a long piece of work, then copyediting will refine that piece for you. Also, great for anyone that expects their project to be viewed by the world!

Warning: this is a really thorough (and, some may say, tough) editing process and could be quite upsetting when I ‘kill your darlings’ but if your objective is to have your work published or viewed publically, this is something you will have to endure.

If you just want someone to tell you whether your writing is good or not, you need a manuscript assessment (for books) or a mentor (for professional writing).

book editing


This is an actual example of some of my client copyediting work.



ghostwriting service


Hiring a ghostwriter means that a professional writer creates your work from scratch. It’s often in the form of a memoir or business book but can also be articles or speeches. Quite often, celebrities and well known people hire a ghostwriter to write their books. In fact, around 60 per cent of celebrity books are ghost written.


The ghostwriter conducts extensive interviews, research and data collecting. As well as writing the complete work, emulating the tone of the focal person.

Ghostwriting is a lot of work, so is a significant investment- both financially and in time. It’s not just about writing about someone. But working very closely with the person to get to know them, coaching them through the process and the tough bits and eeking out the right information. This is an artform.

A ghostwriter service is for someone who has the money to invest. Plus has had an interesting life and wants a professional memoir or business book written. but does not have the time to write it. It’s a terrific service for people who don’t have any writing training or inclination. A ghost written book is a great promotional tool for your business or personal profile. And is an incredible legacy for your future generations of family or mentees.

Most professional writers can take about 100 hours to write a non fiction book, not including research. And it can take years for most people to complete their book.

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