Proof-editing Services

Proof-editing Services (copy-editing, proofreading, manuscript assessment)

Have your work proof-edited (proofread and copy-edited at the same time) by an experienced professional. I am a multi-award-winning author, (fifteen published books and forty writing awards in the USA, UK, Ireland and Finland).

Genres I work in include: literary fiction, commercial fiction, crime fiction, fantasy, romance, short fiction, young adult novel or novella, memoir/travelogue, sci-fi, fantasy, a thesis or a dissertation. I edit and/or assess many types of work – ask me if your work is covered by my field of expertise.  

I can polish your work and bring it up to publication standard with personal professional proof-editing.

Email me for a competitive individualised quote based on your word count and the standard of your work –

I belong to the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP), in the UK.

I hold a Master of Creative Writing (Hons) from Auckland University, certification from the NZ Writer’s College in copy-editing and proofreading, and certification in fiction editing, grammar and editing with Word from CIEP, certification in fiction editing from the Publishing Training Centre.

I work with UK and US English, the New Oxford Style Manual, the Concise Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus, the Chicago Manual of Style, Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and I prefer to work in Microsoft Word.

I can help you by appraising your work with a qualified set of eyes. I will suggest corrections with grammar, spelling, sentence structure and punctuation to lift your work to a higher standard.

I will not change your author’s voice, but I will check your work with precise care.

Manuscript assessment: Providing a detailed professional critique is another area of my expertise. Find out your strengths and weaknesses with a detailed written assessment including comments on plot, characters and their development, POV, sense of time and place, dialogue, speech tags, pace and flow, the beginning, the end, writing style, dramatic moments, structure, layout, spelling, punctuation and grammar. Email me for further details:

What my worldwide clients (New Zealand, Australia, The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, the U.K., the U.S., and Africa) say about my proof-editing services:

‘Barbara is a delight to work with. She is an outstanding editor, and is particularly supportive of new writers. Her feedback is always constructive and is built upon a deep knowledge of the English language and the art of writing. I would recommend Barbara to any experienced author or emerging writer.’

‘I found Barbara through the NZSA website to edit the memoir I had written.  She not only edited it word for word, but also taught me a lot about the grammar, punctuation and typefaces that are preferred/required by publishers.  I now feel I have something worth publishing, and Barbara has continued to advise me on how to make a submission, and has edited my synopsis and letter of approach.  We seem to have been through a lot together and she always provides sage advice and heaps of support.  I recommend her to any writer trying to get a first book published, however much experience the writer has in writing for other media.’

‘The best grasp on the English language I have come across, and I have used many proofreaders over half a century.’

‘When attempting to write a novel it is very difficult to decide if it has any literary merit and even harder to see the flaws in your own writing. Barbara did an initial assessment of my manuscript and took all that uncertainty out of the process. She provided an honest assessment which pointed out the weak points in my story while highlighting the strengths and giving me the confidence to take it to the next level. Barbara then meticulously copy-edited the second draft to bring it to a stage where I am confident to pursue a publisher. She has been a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend her services.’

‘Barbara has edited two novels of mine. I am very happy with the outcome. English is not my first language and I have learned a great deal in the process. I am at the final stage of reviewing my next novel to submit to her soon.’

‘I can’t recommend Barbara Unković enough. The last thing I wanted to do was spend money on my book that, as I keep being reminded, does not make money. But after the countless hours I had put into it, I chose a developmental edit & discovered Barbara’s value. Adding a prologue was quite easy but better descriptions of locations took about six months to research and execute. When it came time to invest in a course I was accepted into, or edit the manuscript I chose to get an edit with Barbara. She has given me clear, concise advice on how to breath life into my story. I feel it’s now well-rooted in reality, which is not my strong point, and follows established writing rules enabling readers clarity. She is like my writing coach and has taken me to the finish line. I’m so grateful to have found her and finished my book! I suggest the developmental edit as a starter and see where that takes you. Next time I will be prepared to spend on editing and be a lot more thorough with my settings from the outset! Thanks Barbara.’

‘Barbara has helped me understand where the faults are with my novel at a very important juncture. In fact, she is the first person in many years who’s been able to tell me exactly what I’m doing wrong and when. She is also so generous with her assistance, that you’d wonder why you left it this long to get your work lifted to the next level. I’d say get in touch with her now.’

‘Barbara was very easy to work with, and at the same time extremely sharp with finding weaknesses in my manuscript. After incorporating many of her suggestions, I felt my book was vastly improved. She showed familiarity with my genre and even made suggestions for further reading, so that I could improve even further. Most importantly, I felt she really cared about the work, and this came through both in her edits and comments as well as in all of her communications with me.’

‘I engaged Barbara to copy-edit my manuscript and appreciated her prompt, professional and efficient approach. It was very helpful to have a summary of the changes made and also to have comments in the margin with the reason for changes. I highly recommend Barbara as an editor.’

‘Barbara edited my first manuscript, a strange novel with a unique voice. She identified several errors in the work, fixing them in a way that helped make the work a better version of itself. She was highly responsive and supportive throughout, with a direct but non-judgemental communication style. Very helpful for those of us with thicker skulls.’

‘Barbara has been fun to work with. She is professional, prompt and extremely knowledgeable, not to mention patient and understanding. I thought I had written a well-worded novel — I have now. Barbara’s constructive advice and guidance has been invaluable. I would recommend her to anyone, and won’t be afraid of using her services again. I will be forever grateful.’

‘I am pleased Barbara was available to edit my YA Fantasy novel – her service was swift and efficient. She corrected my grammar and sorted out my clunky sentences. She gave me sound advice and her suggestions greatly improved the overall ‘feel’ of my novel. Thank you so much, Barbara.’

‘If you are looking for an excellent editor who will take your manuscript to the next level of professionalism, then look no further than Barbara. She was very thorough, prompt and highly professional. I engaged her on the final copy-editing of my manuscript, which had already gone through several layers of professional editing. She found many more grammar errors, typos, clarity issues, flow issues, sentence structure issues, and many others. She also did two versions for me, UK and US English, for she is well versed in both. Her edits have massively polished my manuscript to a publishable level. I would highly recommend her and intend on working with her again soon on my next book.’

‘Having worked with numerous editors in the past with mixed results I feel extremely lucky to have found Barbara Unković. If I were to mark her on a one to ten average it would be a firm ten. If you are looking for someone who really knows their craft then, look no further. Satisfaction guaranteed!’ 

‘I engaged Barbara’s services for a manuscript assessment on my rather long thriller. Barbara was very helpful with her comments; she helped me to see parts which could be removed and to address issues which had hindered my book being published prior to this. She was kind, but thorough in her critique and it led to significant edits which I feel has made the final product much better. I also asked Barbara for a line edit after the assessment and really appreciated her efforts in this. She has great attention to detail in editing.’

‘If you are looking for an excellent professional editor and/or manuscript assessor, and whose rate is fair, you have found her. A writer who thinks they have perfected their manuscript by revising it a million times, one who thinks she/he doesn’t need a professional editor, is in for a surprise when they send Barbara the first few pages for a demonstration of her expertise.

Her assessment was critical, brutal in places, and incredibly inspiring – all elements needed to perfect a manuscript; all recommendations I enthusiastically took on board. After all, my goal is that my story, buried in the dreaded slush pile, be a publisher’s unique and priceless pearl waiting to be discovered.

Barbara is a competent and prompt communicator, always open to discuss anything, and has nurtured me throughout my quest to be among the coveted ranks of best sellers.

Thank you, Barbara, I am eternally grateful for your help.’

‘Barbara was my lucky break. Her assessment and copy-editing was concise, and essential to bringing my project to a conclusion. I could not have found a cohort with Barbara’s level of understanding anywhere else and look forward to working with her again in the future.’

‘Barbara proofread and edited my debut novel Lost Killers. I was impressed with Barbara’s professionalism and the thoroughness of her approach. Barbara has excellent attention to detail and when she finds something, she adds a margin note to tell you what has been corrected and why. This critiquing and commentary was extremely helpful. I have no hesitation in recommending Barbara as a proofreader and copy-editor. I look forward to working with her again.’

‘The hardest facet of writing is criticism. There is no better investment for a writer’s career than an editor who understands your voice and strengthens your weaknesses. Barbara is one such professional who adds value and is empathetic, relevant and to the point.’

‘Barbara is an excellent editor. Her criticisms and comments were exactly what my manuscript needed. Her editing is smart, accurate and timely. I could not recommend her more highly.’

‘I worked with Barbara as a proof-editor for my short stories and novella. She brings an expert eye, as well as an incisive sense of how the text can best be fashioned to tell the story. I’ve found her to be prompt and professional, as well as providing helpful and constructive comments throughout the process.’

‘Your Books Publishing has been very pleased with the editing and proofing that Barbara Unković has recently provided to us on a 170 page memoir for one of our authors: Barbara showed a duty of care and gave careful attention to bringing this manuscript up to publishable standard. This was not an easy task because it was written by an author whose first language is not English and the manuscript had also been translated into US English. Barbara’s sound sense of judgement and her clear eye for detail in the professional work she carried out for my client gives us no hesitation in recommending her for her meticulous skills as a proof-editor. We look forward to working with Barbara again soon.’

‘I worked with Barbara Unković on the edits and final edits of my book of short stories. I was pleased with the speed and professionalism she brought to the work. The 40,000 words were completed ahead of the given schedule with many helpful comments towards my craft. The changes made polished the work and brought it up to publishable standard that no manner of re-edits on my own could have achieved. I would happily recommend Barbara to any author wishing this same professional treatment to be brought to their writing.’

‘I employed the services of Barbara Unković to edit my book series titled ‘SHARPNESS.’ I found Barbara to be very approachable and open to discussion about matters relating to my story. She is very thorough in her work and takes the time to point out the reasons for her comments and alterations. Barbara applies herself to her work in a business-like manner, while at the same time keeping an aura of friendliness. I look forward to working with Barbara on my future manuscripts.’

‘Barbara was incredibly prompt with her turnaround which was much appreciated as I had a tight deadline for my assignment. I enjoyed the explanations around her corrections as the context provided will help me learn from these mistakes. Barbara’s eye for detail is very impressive and gave me confidence that my assignment was well polished before handing it in. I will be engaging Barbara’s services again and would happily recommend her proof-editing expertise.’

‘I was very pleased with the support Barbara provided in editing my manuscript. She always answered my queries in a timely fashion and I found this support invaluable and de-stressing for my anxiety. Having Barbara’s support and guidance helped me feel more confident about what I had written and also the quality and readability of the finished manuscript.’

‘I knew my work needed to be professionally assessed and edited and Barbara didn’t disappoint. Thank you so much Barbara for your input and encouragement.’

You can contact me by email:

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