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Perfect The Word

I specialise in editing fiction by independent authors as well as for commercial publishers. You will find me approachable and friendly.

Subject areas and media

Fiction of all genres – in particular crime and thriller; science fiction, fantasy, and horror; romance; historical; young adult; children’s. I also have experience in editing non-fiction, including books on religion, law/police, biography, and substantial marketing reports. I have experience in editing both UK and US English, and also work with ESL clients.


I have been a freelance editor and proofreader since 2009, working full time since 2013. I work with major publishing houses and also deal directly with independent authors.

Qualifications and recent training

A very long time ago I obtained a degree in psychology and went on to become a solicitor specialising in criminal law. Having now come to my senses, my recent training includes:

• Editing for fiction workshop (SfEP) 2016
• Introduction to fiction editing (SfEP) 2015/16
• Brush up your grammar (SfEP) 2014
• Copy-editing progress (SfEP) 2014
• Introduction to copy-editing (SfEP) 2013
• Proofreading today (Editorial Training) 2013
• Introduction to proofreading (SfEP) 2013

Recent clients

Pan Macmillan; Black Library; Harlequin (an imprint of Harper Collins); Endeavour Press; Oxford Language Editing; Ultimate Proof; Whitefox; Chicken House; Hirst Books; many self-publishing novelists.

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Copy-editing, line editing, proofreading – on-screen and paper-based; editing non-native English; manuscript critique. I am a former solicitor and have competent spoken French.


‘Lesley has been part of our extensive pool of freelance copyeditors and proofreaders since January 2014. Myself and the rest of the Editorial Services team have been greatly impressed by Lesley’s attention-to-detail and diligence. She has engaged excellently with the books she’s worked on for us and is always sensitive to the varied styles of our authors. Given her confidence and professionalism, we’ve had no hesitation in commissioning her to work on books by both brand-name commercial authors and literary stars (among them a Pulitzer-winner). She is personable, flexible and great to work with.’ Fraser Crichton, Editorial Services Assistant, Pan Macmillan

‘Very careful, detailed work.’ Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of Children of Time

‘My message to all budding writers is: if you want your manuscript to be polished and your words to have a beautiful fluency, then Lesley Jones is the copy editor for you! She simply has a way with words that helps the writer’s message come across without sacrificing the author’s original voice. She is meticulous, professional, and caring with any project she undertakes.’ Mehrdad Noorani, spiritualist author

‘It’s like me, only better.’ Fran Clark, author of The Long Way Home

‘Lesley is fantastic at what she does. She has proofread and edited two of my epic fantasy books, Lesley always keeps me up to date with what she is doing with regards to my stories and will always ask when she needs to make a change. She’s very thorough and a pleasure to work with. I plan to use her for my next few titles because of her consistency and her fair prices.’ H J Cronin, author of Wilmurin, Land of the Druids and Land of Darkness

‘I wish to express how delighted I’ve been with the work Lesley has done on the first book in my quadrilogy, Silicon Hell.
Lesley completed the work on time and on budget to a high standard. Her editing style met my requirements exactly and comments on suggested revisions were always constructive. Almost all of Lesley’s suggested revisions were accepted without altering the tone and outcome of the book. Her input most certainly improved its readability and tightened the whole book up. I’m especially grateful to her for picking up on a hole in the plot regarding the timing of a series of events.
JR Ford, author of Silicon Hell

‘Lesley… has been working as a freelancer for Black Library since September 2013. During that time, she has proven to be skilful as copy-editor and proof reader and has continued to improve with time. Lesley has a good eye for detail and is dedicated to the tasks that are asked of her in addition to thoroughly researching the style guides and resources provided for our books. Lesley has always delivered her projects on time and takes suggestions and tips by our editorial staff with enthusiasm and care. I would highly recommend Lesley as a freelancer for her impeccable work ethic, quality of work and attention to deadlines.’ Sarah Greene, Desk Editor, Black Library.