enquiries@nikprowse.com
+44 (0)191 384 4276

Services

I aim to provide an efficient, professional service tailored to your needs. I am an experienced copy-editor, development editor, proofreader and editorial project manager with a background in the life sciences. I can copy-edit your text or manage the publication of your book, bringing in other experienced professionals as needed. I can work on materials aimed at either a specialist or a general audience, covering formats and publication media such as books, scholarly journals and periodicals, school textbooks, brochures, conference proceedings, meeting abstracts, websites and e-books.

Copy editing

Besides non-specialist text aimed at a general audience, I have experience working on higher-level academic material from the following disciplines:

  • biology, including zoology, botany, evolutionary biology, ecology, genetics, cell & molecular biology, and palaeontology
  • nursing and health sciences, including UK health and NHS policy
  • medicine
  • psychology, editing to APA style as necessary
  • pharmacology and pharmaceutical health services research
  • philosophy of science
  • climate change
  • school science, including chemistry, physics and biology
  • popular science
  • popular music: heavy metal, rock, pop and electronica (current and going back to the 1960s).

I have also worked on school textbooks aimed at specific markets such as Japan, the Middle East and Africa. 

Development editing

Development editing features highly in educational publishing, especially for GCSE and A level texts, and is an important stage that comes before copy-editing. It involves reading the author's script to ensure that it:

  • meets the publisher's brief in terms of adherence to the specification of the exam board
  • contains all the right pedagogical features
  • covers all topics to the appropriate level
  • is written in language that will be understood by the target audience
  • uses illustrations and tables in an effective way.

Development editing involves working closely with the author to ensure that the final manuscript meets the intended purpose. Recent and ongoing development jobs of mine include work on a biology text for the International A and AS level syllabus, a new International Baccalaureate biology revision guide and some forthcoming teachers' guides.

Editorial project management

I project manage the production of books from submission of the final manuscript through the stages of copy-editing, typesetting, proofreading, indexing and final proof correction to file print files, liaising with authors, production staff, designers, artists, typesetters and freelance contractors as necessary. As part of an extensive network of freelances in the UK and beyond I can find the perfect people to work on your project, be they copy-editors with expert knowledge in your field, proofreaders who pay incredible attention to detail and meticulous indexers who will produce an index that adds real value to your book. These people are all managed by me, and their work checked to ensure that it is of the right standard and that their services are provided on time and to budget. Problems are dealt with efficiently as they arise, keeping the final publication in mind at all times.

I am Managing Editor of a journal, Orthopaedics and Trauma, a commission-only medical journal published by Elsevier. The role involves liaising with the Editorial Board to set subject areas for forthcoming issues, managing commissioning, submission and editing of articles, and ensuring editors, authors, typesetters and freelance workers meet the deadlines necessary to publish the journal on time.

I also offer pre-production management, chasing in submissions of chapters for newly commissioned books, working with the publisher, authors and editors to ensure that the manuscript is ready for production on time and has been prepared to the necessary standard. This type of job requires a lot of troubleshooting, tackling individual problems and requests as they arise, and also understanding and diplomacy, to help authors produce chapters on time in the midst of otherwise busy schedules!

As project manager the subject areas I work on are much broader, because subject specialists can be hired as necessary. Examples of topics covered by books I have managed recently include:

  • media studies
  • dentistry
  • diseases of the liver
  • tourism
  • economic theory
  • gender and sexuality
  • child psychology and clinical psychology
  • democracy and politics
  • global christianity
  • climate change and sea-level rise
  • anthropology
  • statistics.

I have also successfully managed the production of several multi-volume reference works. Some of these and other recent projects are listed here:

  • Schiff's Diseases of the Liver, 12th edition
  • International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment and Technology, 15 volumes
  • The Complete Guide to the Theory and Practice of Materials Development for Language Learning
  • The Encyclopedia of Empire, 4 volumes
  • Clinical Periodontology and Implant Dentistry, 6th edition
  • The Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology, 5 volumes
  • Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, 6 volumes

Audio transcription

I can undertake transcription of audio files, such as those recorded during lectures, talks, video presentations and meetings. I use Express Scribe Transcription Software and an Infinity foot pedal, which allow me to make transcriptions quickly and accurately. Specialist scientific topics can be transcribed. My attendance at meetings that are due to be transcribed can increase the accuracy of the transcript. Please email me for rates.

Other editorial services

The list below covers other services offered, either as one-off asignments or as part of a larger project:

  • manuscript coding (or tagging) and preparing a manuscript for typesetting
  • language editing, improving the text of writers whose first language is not English
  • rewriting, developing and restructuring a manuscript as required.

Tutoring

I work as a tutor for trainee proofreaders on a distance learning course run by the Publishing Training Centre, providing advice and guidance based on my experience.

Music reviews

As a long-time music fan and concert goer, I review new music from a variety of genres including rock, electronica, prog and heavy metal. I am available for hire and you can take a look here for a selection of my reviews and interviews.

Types of publication

I have experience with the following.

  • Scholarly journals: short articles, quick turnaround, addressing author queries, ensuring that material meets the style and format for the intended journal (before or after submission).
  • Academic books: often multi-author, aimed at specialist markets; copy-editing, coding for typesetting, preparing tables and figures for publication; problem-solving whenever necessary.
  • Educational textbooks: tailoring the text to the age of the target audience, working to a spread-based layout and ensuring that material will fit, matching the text to strict syllabus requirements, and working to the needs of a specific audience while keeping in mind the target market (such as the USA, or Arab or African countries).
  • Language editing: editing text written by non-native English speakers, paying attention to language and structure, organisation and layout.

Style guides and the English language

Working to a pre-arranged style is an important aspect of being a copy-editor. Below are some examples of systems and styles that are commonly used.

  • British English, using the Oxford English Dictionary to check spelling and hyphenation, using style guides such as the Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors and New Hart’s Rules.
  • American English, using Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary for spelling and hyphenation, using style guides such as The Chicago Manual of Style.
  • APA or American Psychological Association style, using the association’s own published style guide.
  • Company style guides, as provided by the individual client.