As a copy-editor I work with an author or publishing house on their raw text, making two passes to ensure accuracy. This includes correcting spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes but goes beyond the proof-reader’s role. Considerations include the extent of the work and the structure of sentences and paragraphs – text can be cut or lengthened to fit a column, page or spread. Language is also checked to make sure it’s right for the intended readership, and word/sentence substitutes offered where necessary. Facts (historical, geographical, chronological, for example) are double-checked, as are the use of names (brands and people), place spellings (including the correct use of diacritics), conversions, translations and quotations. Issues such as copyright infringement and libel may also be addressed.
How Do I Work?
Typically, clients send me Word documents and I make direct changes in these or use the ‘track changes’ options so that they can accept my suggestions if they choose to. Many people trust me to work directly on their spreads – I mainly use InDesign 5.0 or 5.5 to proof or copy-edit, but I can confidently work in Illustrator or Photoshop if that’s how a file has been put together; pages laid out in QuarkXpress are also an option. Alternatively some clients prefer me to work on PDFs of their work – in these cases I use Acrobat Pro to leave notes, comments and suggestions on pages, and my corrections are taken in by them. In some case it might be possible to work out a trial of my services, such as a chapter or spread edit, to see if we are right for each other. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you think I can help you.