Alex James


Personal, Proper, and Professional – Copy Editing and Proofreading

I’m a freelance copy editor and proofreader based in Leeds, United Kingdom. I’ve experience copy editing and proofreading novels for independent fiction writers in the genres fantasy and horror, and proofreading for local businesses and organisations.

I’ve completed qualifications in both skills by the Society for Editors and Proofreaders and the Publishing Training Centre, and I’m also a member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.

See my Experience and Qualifications






My background is with fiction in independent publishing and self-publishing, and I’m well-versed in fiction editing in general. Having written, formatted, and self-published my own books 2012 – 2015, I have learnt what it is like to self-publish and the quality and presentation readers expect. I’m happy to consider any genre, but for a guide on my preferred genres please see Genres I Work On.

What I can offer

  • Free tailored quote
  • Refined sentences (if copy editing)
  • Thorough reading (if copy editing)
  • Systematic process
  • Good judgement
  • Courtesy
  • Reliable communication
  • Quality check: AJ’s Stamp of Approval
  • Ready to publish file or next steps
  • Project feedback where necessary, with comments and suggestions
  • Project aftercare

Why people work with me

  • You know who you’re working with: Alex James and not a faceless and nameless employee
  • Trust: others have liked my services; see my testimonials.
  • Attributes: I’m honest, dedicated, and attentive.
  • Skills: I excel at repetitive/routine tasks and have great attention-to-detail and singular focus and determination. Clients also like that I provide a thorough reading.

How do I copy edit?

I will read through your project and make minor corrections or notes as I go along, then I’ll take a closer look at any problem areas and will suggest the best solutions or alternatives I can while querying anything that requires your attention. I will form a style sheet to help with consistency, and will consult with my reference books or any briefs, existing style sheets, or requirements you have supplied. Finally I’ll put your file through a quality check and will finalise your feedback, including guidance on whether the file is ready to publish or which next steps need to be taken. You’re entitled to a few hours of project aftercare once you’ve been through the corrections.

When I work I emphasise mechanical editing – the mechanics of writing – such as consistency in capitalisation, spelling, hyphenation, grammar, punctuation, and usage. I will raise queries when I find errors of fact or ambiguities, and may suggest alternatives, but my priority is to maintain the author’s style and I personally feel I can do this best by looking at the mechanical aspects of copy editing rather than the ‘flow’. I do not rephrase, reorganise, or change the style and flow of your written material.

How do I proofread?

For proofreading, I will give your project a light read and will only intervene where there are errors or ambiguities. A style sheet will be formed, and reference sources consulted along with any briefs, existing style sheets, or requirements. Feedback will be finalised, and guidance included on whether the file is ready to publish or which next steps need to be taken. You’re entitled to a few hours of project aftercare once you’ve been through the corrections.

Please check out my services to see how I can help


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