Clean, consistent and error-free content is one of the quickest and easiest ways to present yourself or your business effectively and stand out from the crowd. It can be difficult to catch your own errors, especially if you’ve reviewed your work many times. This fantastic Wired.com article explains why it’s so hard to catch your own typos.
What’s the difference between proofreading and copy editing?
Put simply, a proofreader checks content for minor typos and formatting errors. They are the final set of eyes on a nearly finished product or ‘proof’ (a piece that has already been copy edited, designed and laid out) before it is published. The proofreader is looking for embarrassing mistakes, like catching the word ‘muscles’ instead of ‘mussels’ on a seafood restaurant’s menu. Or a missing photo caption, or worse – a caption that still reads ‘place photo caption here’.
A good rule of thumb: if the author is the only person who has reviewed the written content so far, it’s probably time for a copyeditor. Copy editing is handled earlier in the publishing process than proofreading.
Copy editing tasks include checking content for:
- use of abbreviations and acronyms
- use of italics and bold type
- treatment of special elements (headings, lists, tables, charts and graphs)
as well as:
- querying confusing, ambiguous or inappropriate language
- calling attention to inconsistencies or discrepancies in the content, or structural and organizational problems
- identifying possible plagiarism
I can work with British, American and Canadian English using style guides such as the New Oxford Style Manual, The Chicago Manual of Style or The Canadian Press Stylebook, respectively.
What to expect
Proofreading: you will receive a copy of your annotated PDF or draft web page. If you want to go old school, I’m also happy to mark up hard copies with my trusty red pen, before scanning and sending as a PDF.
Copy editing: you will receive two copies of your Microsoft Word document: an updated version of your document (tracked changes accepted), along with an annotated version containing all tracked changes and comments so that you can decline or accept each edit. That way we can both ensure that your narrative voice and style are preserved.
Proofreading – £0.010/word
Copyediting – £0.015/word
For example, a 10,000 word document would cost £100 for proofreading, and £150 for copyediting.
There is a £20 minimum charge per project.
What I cannot do
I do not extensively rewrite or restructure content (developmental/substantive editing).
I do not critique novels or screenplays.
I am not a ghostwriter.