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Word Ferret - Services for writers and publishers
'No author dislikes to be edited as much as he dislikes not to be published.'Russell Lynes

You’ve taken weeks, months, years to write your novel. You’ve ploughed everything you’ve got into it, you’ve read through it a hundred times to catch every single spelling error or missed word, and you’ve reached the stage where you can recite parts of it in your sleep. And therein lies the problem. Now, when you attempt to proofread or edit your work, you’re remembering it rather than reading it. What you need is a fresh, unbiased set of eyes, and that's where we come in.

At Word Ferret, we're all book lovers. We read them, collect them, think about them all the time... and yes, we may sniff them now and then too. And we'll read and edit your book with the sort of enthusiasm and passion that you'll only encounter amongst fellow book nuts.

Our Services for Writers & Publishers

In fiction, we specialise in supernatural, weird, horror, detective/crime/mystery, science fiction, and historical fiction.
In non-fiction, we specialise in Japanese art and history, European history, art, history of art, and literature.

We also have gardening enthusiasts, nature lovers and amateur mycologists in our team, and, whilst not specialists, they are always keen to edit any writing about these subjects.
Manuscript Evaluation

First of all, we promise to be kind. Our goal is to help you achieve yours; we're not here to tear your manuscript apart piece by piece and criticise every line of it. We'll approach your manuscript from the perspective of your readers, then issue a detailed report suggesting areas for review.

For fiction, we focus on content, structure, setting, tone, characterisation, dialogue, plot and believability. We'll find any plot holes and let you know when your characters are acting out of character.

For non-fiction, we'll check that your content is structured in a manner that is easily accessible and aids understanding, that it is not contradictory or repetitive, and that it is not overly complex for your intended audience. 

Developmental Editing

Developmental editing is big picture editing. It's about getting your manuscript in shape, rather than tweaking small details. It's not about punctuation and grammar; that lovely stuff comes later.


For fiction writing, we focus on plot, character development, dialogue, consistency and all that big stuff. For non-fiction writing, we focus on intent, clarity, readability, and making sure that your subject matter is communicated clearly and effectively to its intended audience.


We may shake the very foundations of your manuscript, leading to substantial rewrites (don't say you weren't warned!), which is why this type of editing should take place before any copy editing and proofreading is undertaken.

Copy Editing

Line editing is all about style, consistency and flow, while copy editing is all about the mechanics of writing and fixing mistakes. The latter is all about using the right words; the former is all about using the best ones. This service includes both.

We will go through your manuscript line by line, focusing on language, tone, clarity, style, flow and consistency. Along the way, we'll check for errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling, and we'll highlight any duplication, ambiguity or contradiction. We'll point out inconsistencies, and we'll make suggestions for alternative wording, text restructuring and small rewrites.



This is the final stage that a document goes through, when all of the writing and editing has taken place and publication is just around the corner. Your manuscript will be checked for errors in spelling, spacing, grammar, punctuation and syntax. We will highlight absent words and remove word duplications. We will check for consistency in the use of spelling, hyphenation, terminology, italicisation, numerals and capitalisation. We will not make suggestions regarding the rewording or reorganisation of the document; you need our copy editing service for that.

Pick & Mix

You can sign up for one, any or all of the services  listed on this page. You can mix and match them to suit your own specific needs. And, while we do recommend that services are taken in the order shown here, we realise that every project is different; if you want to sign up for proofreading and then go right back to a developmental edit, you can do just that.

We offer package deals for those taking up multiple services or needing work on several projects.

As one size rarely fits all, if you need something a little different from what we're offering here, please do get in touch. We're flexible and always eager to help.

Website Review

A welcoming, informative website is the most important element of your book marketing strategy. It is the perfect place to showcase everything that's great about you and your books. We'll check your website for clarity, consistency, errors, duplications, omissions, etc., just as we would your manuscript. And we'll make suggestions regarding content, messaging, visual appearance and ease of use. 

Your website is your primary platform - it's your home. We'll help you create an environment where guests don't just pop their head around the door for two seconds and then leave. They'll want to curl up in a comfortable armchair, have a cuppa, and spend time getting to know you and your books a whole lot better.

English as a Second Language

If English is not your first language, and you need proofreading or editing services, we can help. We're all native English speakers here in the Word Ferret team, and we all have experience of working with non-native English speakers. We'll help you to communicate your message effectively and avoid embarrassing misunderstandings. 

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