the book doctor: editing and proofreading



The Book Doctor offers editing and proofreading services at a professional level, and has edited and proofread works for government departments, university and popular presses, and professional journals. We have also edited and proofread many works for self-publishers.

We offer a highly efficient and thorough editing service. We engage with the content of the work as well as its spelling and punctuation, and offer suggestions that help authors clarify their ideas or develop lines of enquiry. We offer three forms of editing and proof reading.


which service do you need?


Editing is carried out when the manuscript is complete, but before it is sent to the printer for layout and printing.

Some editors offer different levels of editing, but really there is only thorough editing or bad editing. A good edit will do the following, and many other things depending on the manuscript:

  • correct spelling, punctuation, and syntax. The Book Doctor imposes Australian standards unless instructed otherwise
  • impose an appropriate level of formality depending on the context of the work
  • suggest changes that will support the tone of a work
  • impose a 'house' style incorporating specific spellings and formats preferred by the author
  • check for uniformity of headings, chapter layout, quotations, pagination, indexes and bibliographies
  • spot-check references and web addresses
  • check for consistency of spelling where alternatives exist (eg judgment or judgement)
  • note places where phrasing is ambiguous or clumsy and suggest alternative phrases
  • spot-check names and titles of people, places, books etc. for consistency
  • note queries to the author where problems arise



Proofs are the sample book pages provided by your printer for checking just before the print run is begun. Proofreading is the final check of the work before it is printed. It includes:

  • correcting spelling
  • amending erratic or absent punctuation
  • fixing typographic errors
  • checking paragraphing
  • checking layout

Generally, only absolutely necessary changes are made to proofs, as altering them costs time and money. This means that proof reading tends to be quicker than editing.


New service for short story writers and novelists:
Editing with in-depth commentary

This new service is offered by The Book Doctor to writers who have a high standard of accuracy in expression and wish to receive a critique as well as basic editing. The critique will cover all the elements of a normal assessment, but the comments will be attached to the document instead of being presented as a formal written report.

Most writers know when they are able to make use of a combined editing and assessment service like this. It is not appropriate for writers in the early drafts of a manuscript. It is not appropriate for first-time writers of fiction. It is expected that short story writers in particular will find it useful.

We reserve the right to provide this service only to writers whose work is of a high technical standard. We recommend an assessment to novice writers or those in the early stages of a work.



the book doctor
69 Sandville Place
Tasmania 7020

(03) 6239 9423