There’s much involved in editing, proofreading and copywriting. I’m often asked a range of questions about these subjects; questions I have given my take on here. Please contact me if you have a question related to editing, proofreading and copywriting that does not feature and I’ll be happy to help.

What is editing?

Editing is the process of making sure your work makes sense and will resonate with your intended audience. There are different forms of editing, which are done using software such as Microsoft Word. Using Word means all edits can be tracked, so you can see the amendments that have been suggested.

The most common examples of editing are content (or developmental) editing and copy (or line) editing.

Using the example of a published book, the editor will edit the content before it goes to a designer.

View the YouTube video about editing here.

How will I know which form of editing is for me?

An editor worth their weight will offer to look over your document and will honestly assess how much work is required to ensure your product makes the necessary impact.

Copy editing involves editing fresh from the source (so, you, the author). The purpose here is to check typos, basic grammar, inconsistencies, style (is there a house or a preferred style?), structure and to raise editorial queries relating to sense, references, abbreviations and heading levels. Minor suggestions are also highlighted at this stage.

Content editing includes elements of crossover with a copy edit, though this stage delves deeper into the editorial process. It can include restructuring and conducting research into queries concerning references and abbreviations. A content edit can also initiate suggestions to the author for potential rewriting.

Both copy editing and content editing do not necessarily require a subject area background. The ultimate job of the editor is to see things from the reader’s perspective, breaking things down and ensuring clarity of message.

There is also plain English editing.

In addition to the points mentioned for copy editing and content editing, plain English editing considers readability, design, layout and accessibility.

If you would like a chat about any of this information and how it may affect your work, please contact me and I’d be happy to help.

You can get a taste of the kinds of editing I’ve done for my clients here.

View the YouTube video about the different forms of editing here.

What is proofreading?

Proofreading may be a term you are more familiar with.

It is a proofreader’s responsibility to check consistency and overall layout. Consider this person the last line of defence before publication.

Your budget can dictate whether you choose an edit and a proofread, just an edit, or just a proofread, so it is important to understand the differences.

In essence, a proofread comes after the edit and design stage of a project. This said, if your project doesn’t require designing, then a proofread can be conducted in Microsoft Word, ahead of being saved as a PDF and returned to you. A lot of business lead magnets utilise this way of working.

In the example of a book, a proofreader will likely receive the document in PDF form and will annotate it with comments and observations. (The document may have already been edited before the design stage.)

If you would like a chat about any of this information and how it may affect your work, please contact me and I’d be happy to help.

You can get a taste of the kinds of proofreading I’ve done for my clients here.

View the YouTube video about proofreading here.

Why do I need an editor / proofreader?

We’ve all seen those books, magazine articles, websites or blogs that include typos and / or grammatical errors. Don’t let yours be one of these! 

Well-constructed wording can make the difference between your business making a sale or people going to your competitors. If your wording does not portray your intended meaning, ask yourself the question, what will those reading it think of the services of the business?

After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

The same applies with your books and magazines. Make the most of an editor and / or proofreader who is trained to spot such errors, and who will eliminate them and make your words sparkle.

View the YouTube video about why an editor / proofreader is needed here.

When is the best time to seek editing / proofreading help?

It is never too early to have a discussion with an editor / proofreader as to how they can help you. However, it is advised to progress conversations when you have a document that is approaching your final draft. That’s when an editor / proofreader can crunch the numbers and let you know how much it may cost you to have trained objectivity look over your work and offer suggestions and recommendations.

View the YouTube video about the best time to seek editing / proofreading help here.

I’ve heard the term ‘proof check’ – what does this mean?

When a document comes out of the design stage and arrives with a proofreader as a PDF, there is the option of a proof check.

A proofreader can request the original Microsoft Word file received by the designer ahead of their work and examine it, making sure nothing has been missed upon conversion into their design programme and out the other side.

This ‘belt and braces’ approach is recommended when working on large manuscripts to ensure things such as ‘notes to the designer’ and ‘comments by the editor’ have been interpreted in the correct manner.

View the YouTube video about proof checking here.

I have an idea for a book but where do I begin?

The fact you know what you want to write about is a fantastic start. For help with how to write creatively, check out this blog I wrote about this very subject.

There are many people who will gladly chat with you and support you along the journey of penning a book.

If you’d like assistance with this and details of designers, publishers, indexers, voiceover artists and any other person you may think you need in your team, please contact me and I’d be happy to help.

View the YouTube video about having an idea for a book here.

What is copywriting?

The words we use can be very powerful, therefore it is important the correct ones are used to portray your intended meaning and resonate with your target audience.

A proficient copywriter will be able to help you tell your story the way you want. Having worked on a wide range of projects, a skilled copywriter will also be able to suggest new ways of addressing the market that you may not have considered.

Copywriting can be website copy, making sure your message is on-brand for your customers, or it can be constantly engaging via social media and on your site in the form of blogs.

Other options are available to ensure your words hit the mark and promote people to enquire about your work.

If you would like a chat about any of this information and the options available for you and your business, please contact me and I’d be happy to help.

There’s also help available here and a little flavour of the kinds of copywriting done here.

View the YouTube video about copywriting here.

What should my copy say?

It is important to constantly think of your target audience (your readers).

Many websites exist with copy focused on ‘I do this’ and ‘We do this’.

Yes, it is nice to get to know about the people behind the business but, ultimately, your writing – be it in blog form or homepage web copy – needs to answer the questions on people’s lips and solve the dilemmas they may be facing.

Make your writing entertaining and provide a solution and you won’t be going far wrong.

If you’d like assistance with this, please contact me and I’d be happy to help.

For information on business writing, this blog I wrote about this very subject may help you.

I’ve seen a CIEP logo on your website – what does it mean?

CIEP stands for the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading and is an industry recognised body. I am a Professional Member of this organisation.