FAQ

Is editing the same as proofreading?
Can you just do a quick edit?
Why should I use an editor?
How do editors save you money?
Won’t using an editor make all writing look the same?
Can’t I just use the spelling and grammar-check function in MS Word?
Are there different styles of editing?
What do editors charge?
Why does editing take so long?
How do I find an editor who’s right for me?

Is editing the same as proofreading?

No! Proofreading involves the correction of basic errors at the final stage of preparing the manuscript after the editing. Editors work with authors to maximise a manuscript’s potential to communicate with readers and eliminate errors that writers often miss. Editing can add strength, clarity, beauty and impact to any piece of written material.

Why should I use an editor?

You know your subject. When you write about it, your writing is obviously accurate and, in places, impressive. A good editor can help you maintain your high standards throughout the work and prepare it for publication.

Won’t using an editor make all writing look the same?

Editors will not try to impose their style on your writing, but will simply strengthen your unique style.

Are there different styles of editing?

Yes. Editors can come from academic, scientific, business or creative fields, and they will bring their experience and personality to the project to a certain extent. However, all professional editors will meet the standards for editing your project. We recommend discussing your project with a few editors before you make your final choice so that the relationship with you, your editor and your project has the best chance of success.

Why can editing take some time?

Editing takes time because editors are not fire fighters, poised at the top of the fireman’s pole, ready to leap to work when the alarm goes off. They have other work on their desks. Also, the detailed look required of a proper edit takes time, and often it takes several readings of a document to spot all the errors and inconsistencies.

Can you just do a quick edit?

There is no such thing as a quick or a light edit. An editor will do whatever it takes to bring a text up to standard, just as a car mechanic will do everything necessary to keep your car safe on the road. Would you demand only a light service when in fact the brakes need replacing to keep you from crashing?

How do editors save you money?

Whatever you spend on an editor will be more than offset by what you save. Unedited texts cost real money in mistakes, reprints, lost readership and credibility.

Can’t I just use the spelling and grammar-check function in MS Word?

No. Even if this function were foolproof (which it is not), editing involves so much more than correcting spelling and grammar.

What do editors charge?

See Quoting and rates.

How do I find an editor who’s right for me?

Use our online register of freelance editors to search our membership for a suitable editor.

Visit the Society for Editors and Proofreaders’s website for other helpful answers to FAQs.

NEWS

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