At The Book Shelf, we specialise in nonfiction books and offer a range of pre-publishing editorial and design services, including:

  • Book consultancy or coaching
  • Editorial assessment (also known as “critique”)
  • Content editing (also known as “developmental editing” or “structural editing”)
  • Copy editing
  • Proofreading
  • Blurb and/or book description critique and editing
  • Author bio critique and editing
  • Interior book layout design and formatting
  • Book cover design
  • Book illustrations

Book consultancy:

Got questions about seeking a traditional publisher, self-publishing, the editing process, or anything related to your book? We offer half-hour and hour-long book consultancy where you can discuss your book project with an experienced book professional and get your questions answered. Ideal if you need guidance on the process and more information about your options.

Editorial assessment:

A comprehensive, in-depth critique of all aspects of your book from a potential reader’s perspective. Includes a detailed editorial report with recommendations to improve the book and honest, constructive feedback. This type of editing does not include making any actual changes to the document. This is often the first stage in the editorial process and is ideal if you are at the first draft stage.

Content edit:

A hands-on edit that considers the bigger picture of your book i.e. the content. This includes structure, organisation, content, presentation, flow, length, clarity, and ideas. Identifies any gaps in content, contradictions, inconsistencies, problem areas, and readability issues. Checks whether the book delivers on its promise, meets its aim, and matches your ideal audience (meeting their needs and speaking in the right tone). Includes comments in the manuscript and a comprehensive editorial report. Content editing is usually done before copyediting.

Copy edit:

A hands-on edit of the language and wording of the book to ensure correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalisation, and so on. This includes improving the quality of your writing and vocabulary, removing wordiness, ensuring a consistent tone throughout, and avoiding repetition and redundancy. Copy editing does not include substantial re-writing. There are different levels of copy editing (light, medium, and heavy) depending on what is required. Copy editing is done before proofreading.


The final check before the book goes to print, when it is in its final format (i.e. after design). Ensures there are no errors or typos in the book. This includes spelling, punctuation, and grammar, but also formatting and styles. Proofreading doesn’t include making substantial revisions or re-writing. Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process.

Blurb and/or book description critique:

A critique of your back cover blurb and/or description (such as for a personal website or Amazon). Includes comments on the description and can also include a hands-on edit if required.

Author bio critique:

A critique of your author biography for blurb, website, description, etc. Includes comments on the description and can also include a hands-on edit if required.

Interior book layout design:

Design of book interior by an experienced book designer. Includes all formatting, layout, and visual elements. Books can be designed in print PDF, mobi, and e-pub formats for a range of devices and in a range of page sizes.

Book cover design:

Cover design by an experienced book cover designer. Includes all formatting, layout, and visual elements. Covers can be designed for print PDF, mobi, and e-pub formats. 

Book illustrations:

Original graphic designs and illustrations from creative designer Black Bear and Bandit. These can be designed for the interior of books or social media posts to promote your book based on your requirements.

If you’re not sure which service(s) or type(s) of editing you require, please get in touch


The cost of each project depends on the word count, required services, and specific requirements of each individual book. Every author and every book is different, and there is no “one size fits all” approach here. Design costs also depend on the services and formats required. 

To get an accurate quote for your book, please contact us with more information about your book, the services you’re interested in, and your requirements. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.