With more and more independent writers publishing their work in electronic form, the old traditional publishing roles have become somewhat blurred. Proofreading is one of those roles that now seems to cover all sorts of disciplines from simple spell-checking to full-blown editing.
Many independent authors are wary of employing an editor for fear of losing ownership of their book. In reality, the opposite is true. Working with a good editor will ensure that your “voice” stands out clearly while making sure that your story flows to the best of its ability.
If you’re looking for a definition or wondering what you can expect from the person you’ve hired to do a job, this list will help you to understand what they actually do for you.
Line Editing – Often used interchangeably with Proofreading. A line-editor will scour your writing line by line for any spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors. They will often also insert comments for any vocabulary or sentence structure alterations.
Copy Editing – Traditionally, a copy editor checks the facts in your manuscript, e.g., what is the speed of light, along with any signs of plagiarism that may breach copyright. Copy-editing is often done by the same person who line-edits, and again, has seemed to merge into the proofreader’s role.
Content Editing – Also known as simply editing. A content editor will ensure that the style of your manuscript is consistent throughout. For instance, they will check that there are no behavioural inconsistencies in your character’s actions or words.