Editing Services

Did you know that there are many different types of editing?

Copyediting takes place after you have finished writing and revising your book and have it as nearly ready to publish as you can make it. Copyediting includes:

  • language editing (grammar, syntax, usage, and diction)
  • minimal content editing (querying internal inconsistencies or discrepancies and structural or organizational problems)
  • ensuring consistency of style (spelling, punctuation, hyphenation, capitalization, treatment of quotations, etc.)
  • correlating the various parts of the manuscript (cross-references, footnotes, charts, illustrations, table of contents, etc.)

Copyediting is a good choice if you are confident about your writing skills and the arrangement and expression of your material and you just want some fine-tuning of the details above.

Substantive editing / content editing is more intensive and includes more rewriting, revising, and reorganizing as needed. This is a good choice if you need help expressing (and perhaps arranging) your ideas.

Developmental editing is the most interactive type of editing. The author sends the editor a rough draft or even an annotated outline and raw material. The editor makes some revisions and suggests other changes, perhaps including reorganization or addition of new material. The author then revises the book in accordance with the editor’s suggestions and sends it back for another edit. Author and editor may go through this process several times.

See what my clients are saying…


“I will not publish a book today without having it pass under the scrutiny of Mary Jo’s eyes. When we send her something to edit, we usually think our manuscript is in pretty decent shape, but she somehow finds a way to relieve us of that notion.

Mary Jo’s skills go beyond merely the mechanics of editing.
When she suggests a clarifying or stylistic improvement, I am very reluctant to move contrary to her suggestion. The bad part about writing an endorsement like this is that I may have to compete with even more clients for her services in the future. So forget everything I just wrote.”

Harvey Bluedorn
Trivium Pursuit

“Mary Jo Tate is worth her weight in gold as a writing coach and content editor. She has saved me countless hours, quickly seeing elusive structures and helping me organize creative, detailed, and random ideas.”

Louise Jones
National Art Consultant
SRA McGraw-Hill

“Every author needs an editor who can take what she writes, edit it, and polish it so that the end product exceeds expectations. Mary Jo Tate has done that for every book we have written.Every author needs a team of people around her, and Mary Jo has become an invaluable part of the Grapevine Studies team. I highly recommend her work!”

Dianna Wiebe
Grapevine Studies

“I need more than an editor. I need counsel from someone who knows her subject. Mary Jo Tate is a sounding board for my ideas, an arranger of them, and a grammar and mechanics queen. She advises me where to expand my thoughts, use a different word, say something in a fresh way, or trash an idea completely. She gives me wise counsel and encouragement, even for layout, printing, and publication.When you need someone who knows more than just a typical copy editor, try Mary Jo. You’ll be thrilled.”

Tina Farewell
Co-Founder, Lifetime Books and Gifts

“I have used Mary Jo Tate as an editor for all of the second-edition books that Apologia has published. By the time the books reach her desk, they have already been proofread twice. Nevertheless, Mary Jo always finds things that the proofreaders miss. In addition, she keeps the texts consistent, making sure that we use the same styles and structures for elements that are common throughout the texts. Finally, her knowledge of English grammar is superb but flexible. She seems to know exactly which rules must be followed and which can be bent in order to fit into my unorthodox writing style.

Mary Jo gets things done according to the schedule that was agreed upon, and even when the schedule is tight, she does a thorough job.”

Dr. Jay L. Wile
Apologia Educational Ministries

“It has been my delight to work with Mary Jo Tate for almost two years, and I have been the beneficiary of her professional expertise. She is thorough and knowledgeable, as well as an accurate wordsmith.

Mary Jo’s wide range of abilities makes her an outstanding editor who respects the author’s writing, keeping the tone and meaning even when making changes that improve it. I would highly recommend her work to anyone needing an accomplished editor.”

Marilyn Rockett, Former Managing Editor
Homeschooling Today magazine

“I have worked with Mary Jo Tate since 1989. She provided extraordinary editorial support for my work on the Cambridge University Press Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and I published her admirable F. Scott Fitzgerald A-Z . She has proofed and indexed 13 of my books since 2002. I trust her and rely on her and admire her.”

Matthew J. Bruccoli
Jefferies Professor of English
University of South Carolina

“Writing is an art of communicating with words; with the right editor those words can explode off the page. Mary Jo Tate is one of those editors. She is kind and sensitive to our words, and she works quickly and in a timely fashion. If she says she’ll have it done, she does! Working through e-mail was so convenient, and we found her comments useful and helpful. We highly recommend her services.”

Felice Gerwitz and Jill Whitlock
Media Angels, Inc.

“Mary Jo Tate does a very thorough and wise job of editing. I handed her a tough project, a computer book with lots of formatting quirks, and she dove right into it! She certainly taught me a thing or two. I highly recommend her services.”

Phyllis Wheeler
Motherboard Books