Freelance editor and proofreader
natural history • environmental science • social sciences
I can help you by …
polishing your manuscript to a professional level
ensuring your writing style is suitable for your audience and your message is clear
improving the structure of your manuscript
correcting grammar, spelling and style
tailoring services to suit your needs, whether you are an author or publisher.
I specialise in editing and proofreading environmental science, natural history and social sciences books and papers, and have extensive experience working on a wide range of publications.
I provide two types of editing services: structural editing and copy-editing.
During a structural edit I will:
ensure the overall structure, tone and content are suitable for your purpose and audience
check the arrangement and balance of sections
establish that all the necessary parts of the manuscript have been provided and are relevant
check that headings are clear and appropriate
apply consistency in tone and style of language across the whole work
ensure the text flows logically and clearly
remove repetition and contradiction, and improve phrasing.
During a copy-edit I will:
check grammar, sentence construction, spelling, punctuation, consistency and clarity
verify names, dates and other facts for accuracy
format and style references and ensure they are complete
check tables, captions, headings, figures and cross-references
flag any copyright or libel issues.
style the text in UK, US, Australian or New Zealand English as required
correct spellings and format to match the publisher’s house style.
If your manuscript has already been edited and the pages designed, but you need a final check by a fresh pair of eyes, then you require a proofread.
During a proofread I will:
check that all the elements of your document or book are present and in the correct order
check the contents page against the text and correct any discrepancies
check all cross-references
check for discrepancies between the edited text and the proofs
check all headings and page numbers
check layouts and word breaks
make cuts and fills as required to improve page layout
correct spelling, punctuation and typographical errors
ensure the text conforms to the publisher’s house style.
Are you an author who would like a professional opinion of your manuscript before you submit it for publication? Or perhaps you are an in-house editor who needs a reader’s report on a manuscript but don’t have the time to do it yourself?
I can help you by providing a manuscript assessment in the form of a detailed written report. I will:
look at the structure of the manuscript to assess whether it works cohesively as a whole
establish whether the different sections follow a logical order
ascertain whether the manuscript would benefit from the addition of further elements
highlight any gaps and problem areas, and make suggestions for improvements
advise on the tone and style of the manuscript, and whether it is suitable for your target readership.
The amount I charge per project depends on the word count and the type of service required. To discuss your specific needs, or for a quote, please contact me today. All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.
WHAT MY CLIENTS SAY
Susi is always a joy to work with. She’s professional in what she does, displays a deep understanding of the skills of editing and proofreading, gets on well with and is respected by authors, and presents work of an outstanding quality.
– Dr David Price-Goodfellow, D & N Publishing
– Professor Stephen Blackmore, CBE, VMH, FRSE, Queen's Botanist and Honorary Fellow, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Working with Susi Bailey as an editor was a delight. Not only is Susi fast and precise, she has the expertise needed to work with scientific terminology and the arcane complexities of botanical nomenclature. I can recommend her with confidence.
– Professor Graeme Ruxton, University of St Andrews
Susi Bailey was a dream copy editor: meticulous but also creative. Her ideas and gentle humour have hugely enhanced the whole text.
– Robbie Burton, Publisher and Managing Director, Potton & Burton
I have been using Susi Bailey as a freelance editor for over 16 years. She is, in my view, one of the most experienced and skilled editors working in New Zealand, and her editing is always of the highest quality. She has very high standards, and is also adept at working with authors to bring their work up to meet these standards.
Susi has worked on a number of titles for Bloomsbury Wildlife and has consistently impressed me with her knowledge, professionalism and attention to detail, along with her excellent communication skills and ability to meet deadlines.
– Jenny Campbell, Editor,
I have worked with Susi Bailey for several years, both through her copy-editing my own articles and, more recently, copy-editing Te Papa’s refereed journal Tuhinga. She is thoroughly professional and a pleasure to deal with, and I know the contributors felt similarly.
– Dr Mark Stocker, Curator Historical International Art, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Susi is one of the best editors I’ve worked with. She balances impeccable accuracy with speed. The research she edits for us is testament to her ability to handle technical jargon and complex topics. Susi is also responsive and communicative, so I always know the status of the work and can manage deadlines easily.
– Ceridwyn Roberts, Communications Director/Kaiwhakahaere Whakapā, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research
Thank you so much for your exceptional ability and for your guidance in pulling together The World Atlas of Trees and Forests of the World. You were a wonderful person with whom to work. Your talent to make sense from the sometimes garbled writing I manage to produce is particularly appreciated.
– Herman H. Shugart, W.W. Corcoran Professor of Natural History (Emeritus),
University of Virginia
I am a professional freelance editor and proofreader with more than 30 years’ experience in the publishing industry. I love working alongside authors to help them ensure their message is clear, effective and accurate.
After graduating with an honours degree in environmental science, I worked initially in-house as an editor and publishing manager, before establishing my freelance business in 1991.
Since that time I have worked with a range of international clients, from not-for-profit organisations and academics to trade publishers and self-publishing writers. While I specialise in life sciences publications, I have worked on hundreds of projects covering all manner of subjects, from sports and travel guides to cookery books and craft manuals, and from government reports to lifestyle magazines and corporate websites.
Clients past and present include HarperCollins, Princeton University Press, Yale University Press, Penguin (NZ), Potton & Burton, Te Papa Press, Massey University Press, Allen & Unwin (NZ), Bloomsbury Wildlife, Quarto, Ivy Press, UniPress, Environmental Defense Fund and Motu Economic Public Policy and Research. I am a professional member of the Institute of Professional Editors Ltd.
Memorable editing projects include Pōhutukawa and Rātā (Philip Simpson, Te Papa Press, 2005; Montana New Zealand Book Awards Medal for Non-fiction 2006), British Wildlife (Paul Sterry, Collins, 2008) and Zealandia (Hamish Campbell and Nick Mortimer, Penguin (NZ), 2014). More recent, equally enjoyable commissions include the Environmental Defense Fund Economics Discussion Paper series (2020 to date); Tuhinga: Records of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (2007–21); Life in the Shallows: The Wetlands of Aotearoa New Zealand (Karen Denyer and Monica Peters, Massey University Press, 2022), Adapt and Thrive: Building a Climate-resilient New Zealand – New Zealand's First National Adaptation Plan (Ministry for the Environment, 2022) and The World Atlas of Trees and Forests: Exploring Earth's Forest Ecosystems (Herman Shugart et al., UniPress and Princeton University Press, 2022).
Thanks to my extensive experience, clients can rest assured that I will provide a professional and reliable service for any editing or proofreading project.