Contact us by e-mail:
...gerard@much-better-text.com
Contact us by phone:
...0
16977 46370 in the UK
...+44 16977 46370 elsewhere
...high-quality writing, editing, training and indexing since 1991
writing is thinking*
We do both. You have something to say or a story to tell: we find the best way to put it across, so people will read it, get the message and find it convincing.
It’s that simple. But, like conducting an orchestra or filleting fish, it’s harder than it looks.

less is more
Every word counts. You are asking people to give you their time and attention, so we ensure that what you put out is not just clear, complete, consistent and concise, but also interesting and readable.
Much better text also respects its audience, by being accurate, truthful and appropriate. A sense of humour is an optional extra (free of charge).

there’s no substitute for experience
We have plenty. Accept no substitute. See what clients say.

services we offer
Writing – getting the message across, telling the story based on your material, rewritten or entirely original, whether history, biography, guidebook or story
Copywriting – selling the idea in your blurb, brochure, booklet, catalogue or flyer
Critiques to assess what your book still needs
Editing on screen or hard copy – not just copy-editing, but editing to length, substantive editing, rewriting and development editing, or acting as general editor
Proofreading against copy or blind, on screen or off
Indexing – needle, see under haystack
Training – how to write promotional text; how to put across information; grammar and use of English
Mentoring – proofreading; editing; writing

you know it makes sense
And so will your readers, when we’ve finished. We want to get it right, and you want to get it done. Think of us as practical perfectionists.
Business is built on trust. We like to build a personal but professional relationship with clients. There is no small print in our terms and conditions.

*Stephen Leacock, the Canadian academic and humorist.
† Also, “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes” (Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Act 3). If so, we must have made a few mistakes – but then again, too few to mention.

terms and conditions
There is no small print. We want you to be pleased and we want you to come back. You will get the best job possible, taking into account your budget and schedule, and you will be charged a fair price. In return, we expect you to present the job fairly, not to change it while we are working on it, answer any queries and pay our invoice promptly and in full. Jobs required overnight cost 30 per cent extra.

Subject matter
If your work requires specialist expertise that we cannot offer, you will be advised.

Code of Practice
Much Better Text abides by the Code of Practice of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.

Payment
Invoices are issued on completion of the work and payment is due within thirty days of the invoice date. Prompt payment is much appreciated. All invoices are subject to the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998, as amended and supplemented by the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2002, by which any payment made more than 30 days after submission of an invoice is subject to interest at Bank of England base rate plus 8 per cent for each day that payment is late, and compensation as laid down in the Act and Regulations.

what they also say
“the copy-editing part has been a breeze, thanks to you, and you've given me a lot more confidence in the end product”, “efficient and helpful” (academic editors)
“We were very happy with all the amends you made, and have used the text exactly as you re-wrote it” (Projects & Research Consultant)
“many thanks for your excellent and amazingly thorough contribution to this book” (academic editor)
“how pleased we are with the tremendous job you have done ... on this extremely difficult material” (Deputy Royal Curator)
“It has been a pleasure and a boon to have your guidance. Your price seems perfectly acceptable for the specialised work you have done. It beats me why amateurs think they can index their own publications.” (author)
“Many thanks for your painstaking and quick work – and for your kind words too! It has been a pleasure to work with someone as professional as yourself” (Senior Production Editor)
“Thank you so much for the ‘writing promotional text’ workshop today. I really enjoyed it and learnt so much in a very short space of time!” (university administrator)
“I learned a great deal from you” (author)

messing the missage
Author's note with proof
Manwaring incorrectly printed the date of the inventory as 31 June 1653. The correct date is 31 June 1654.

Some genuine examples that needed an editor
It is difficult to tell how their wages rose as these may have simply been weaving from a design given to them.
The research team spent the day trapping small mammals and biting insects.
Like many others in the valley, both World Wars meant adaptations and changes in work style.
Having passed through a gate that leads to the common, the lake spreads out before you, a mile in length.
The bride was given away by her younger brother, Robert, who wore a full-length ivory dress, with pearl and diamante beading.

Genuine newspaper headlines
Doctor loses sex appeal
Monty flies back to front
French push bottles up German rear
Turkey releases man for Christmas
Incest more common than thought in US
London bus goes down well in Moscow

...and I don’t know if these are genuine, but I like them
Man denies he committed suicide
Panda mating fails; vet takes over
Red tape holds up new bridge

Wheatley Award 2012

At the Society of Indexers awards ceremony, Gerard Hill was Highly Commended for his index to Livy, The War with Hannibal (Folio Society, 2011). As the judges said, “a huge challenge” for the indexer, but “This index was extremely well presented and laid out”. For the full report, click here.

Links

Visit the Jack and Meena website The Boy with the Violet Eyes,
by
Feroz Patel and Gerard M-F Hill

Top Hat, White Tie and Clodhoppers,
by
Oliver Austin

A modern edition of West’s 1778 Guide to the Lakes,
edited by
Gerard M-F Hill

In Isadora’s Steps by Lily Dikovskaya,
as told to
Gerard M-F Hill




The professional body for copy-editors and proofreaders: Gerard is a director, an Advanced Member and a Registered Copy-Editor and Proofreader

urgent? overnight?
If e-mailed by 6 p.m., small jobs can be done overnight for a higher fee.

among our clients
British Academy, Council of Europe, Folio Society, HIT UK, Manchester University Press, Routledge, University of Oxford, University of Cumbria

what they say
You turned an ugly duckling into a swan (author)
Thank you for reading my mind and bringing clarity from the midst of chaos(academic author)
The best copy-editor I know(senior production editor)
The best and most perceptive proof reading and copy editing I have come across(international author)
Now that's what I call an index!(academic author)
The best course I’ve been on in the last 13 years(senior lecturer in marketing)
You’re one in a million!(publications manager) more ...

done that, proofread the tee-shirt
We have edited art history, drugs manuals, guidebooks and atlases, rewritten histories and children's stories, helped people develop novels, indexed classical histories, proofread websites, tee-shirts and beer-mats, taught journalists and much more

terms and conditions
There is no small print more ...

much better text is run by
Gerard M-F Hill, a member of the
Society for Editors and Proofreaders
Society of Authors
Society of Indexers

and also
SfEP Director of Mentoring
Licentiate in Editorial Skills, City &
Guilds Institute

Perfectionist and Generally
Good Egg

© Much Better Text 2005–2017