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Editing & Proofreading... A Primer

It’s good to see you back again. ☺

In our last blog, we offered a series of questions to help you get straight answers from your salesperson regarding both their experience and their company’s editing and proofreading process. Today, we want to delve deeper into editing and proofreading. You may be a prolific author and have your own team of editors and proofreaders. If so, kudos for you! But if you’re in the majority of authors, you recognize the need for editing and/or proofreading but may not know where to start. There’s a saying in the industry: Every writer needs an editor, and every editor needs a proofreader. There are various levels of editing including developmental/rewrite, substantive, and copy editing, and a reputable company should be able to define these for you and recommend the best type of editing for your work. Notice we didn’t say “tell you.” If the company is worth its salt, someone from their editing team will review your work. Then, depending on your budget, you can decide what is best for you. For proofreading, you should be able to contract for one or two proofreads. (You can go to the AuthorSource Our Services page for more details on types of editing and proofreading, or go through the Contact Us form and we’ll be happy to send you the one-page PDF.) Every company has their own levels of editing and proofreading. Sadly, many companies say they offer editing, but in reality they equate a double proofread to editing. Editing addresses content, clarity, development, structure, plot, characters, facts and figures, and so much more. Proofreading focuses on spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Here’s something else to keep in mind. Some authors feel that if they purchase editing, proofreading should automatically be included. However, these are different skill sets, and if you really want the best book possible, we recommend copy editing and proofreading at a minimum. “Why is that?” you ask. The problem that most authors run into is they know their manuscript so well they cannot see necessary changes that a set of “fresh eyes” will catch. An editor and proofreader are an author’s best friend before a book makes its debut to the world, and these people want to make your book stand out in a crowded market. Also, make sure the company you are considering does the actual editing and/or proofreading for you. Many companies will simply send you a track change version with all suggested changes, and you have to sort through these to determine what to keep. Many authors are not familiar with track changes, let alone what to do with them. So be sure to ask what process is followed so that you don’t get stuck doing the work that you’ve paid for. Until next time, The AuthorSource Team Get Published. Be Heard.

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