"[This is] offensive impertinence, up with which I will not put."
— almost certainly not Winston Churchill
What does copyediting cover?
It's probably easiest to list what copyediting doesn't cover. It's not developmental editing, so it won't address fundamental issues with your story's structure, pace, or character development. Everything else is fair game. Your copyedit encompasses proofreading, which corrects spelling, grammar, and punctuation, but it's so much more than fixing typos.
A copyedit includes basic fact-checking to eliminate contradictions, both with the external world and within the story itself. Does your blue-eyed heroine open her brown eyes eight chapters later? Consider it flagged. Is it Saturday three days after something happens on a Tuesday? It may be fifty pages later, but we'll catch it. Does your colonel take orders from a major? Or your professional photographer use the wrong Photoshop tool? Or maybe your out-of-shape protagonist only needs three days to hike a real-world trail that would take a fit person twice as long? Also noted.
In addition to checking for logic and consistency, we pay special attention to the clarity of the language itself. We query excessively repeated words and identify issues with word choice and sentence structure, suggesting alternatives and solutions where appropriate. It's important that readers not be jolted out of the story by poor grammar, so we clean up dangling participles and misplaced modifiers, clarify ambiguous pronouns, examine verb tenses, and help your writing shine.
Above all, we respect your writing style. A good copyeditor knows when rules can be broken, and we take context and style into account when suggesting changes so we stay true to your voice and intention. A successful edit isn't one that forces your work into someone else's mold, but rather one that celebrates your voice and ensures that readers experience your writing as clearly as possible.