copyediting & proofreading
When your work is at the final stage — when you can’t make it any better, and there are no more changes to be made — then it is ready for copy-editing.
Copyediting involves careful word-by-word checking of grammar, punctuation, style, inconsistencies, meaning and tone. The editor also “repairs” phrases and words that are odd, incorrectly used or ambiguous.
The editor will check cross-references, indexes, tables of contents, chapter headings, footers, numbering and flow. Part of the job involves directing the designer how to set like elements, approach the layout, and how to handle the
artwork, drawings and graphics.
After editing, the final product is much improved and better presented than the writer ever expected.
This stage of editing is the very last time the manuscript is edited, and is an additional once-over before the printer produces thousands of copies of the document.
Proofreading is best undertaken after both editing and author corrections have been incorporated, to catch noticeable errors. It is often undertaken at “galley proof” stage, where the mock-up from the designer is checked to see how it
looks in page layout.
More errors will be picked up in proofreading, and it is important that this stage is not overlooked. Details that ten readers have missed are often picked up here — especially the ones readers will notice.
Some products are not proofread (or even edited, for that matter). The client usually finds that the product looks and reads poorly, they are embarrassed by mistakes, and regret the waste of money.
English is spoken and written differently all over the world. Britain, America, Australia and New Zealand all have their own dictionaries. Differences are noticeable in spellings such as specialise (Australian
s spelling) and specialize (American z spelling), theatre/theater and colour/color. Prepositions, punctuation, word division and hyphenation also differ between regions.
The editor aligns your work to the appropriate style for your country and audience, and ensures consistency across similar documents and within professional groups. edit or die is based in Australia, so mainly works in that country's
style. However, depending on the target market, your document can be aligned to other styles and preferences.