Knowing how to choose an editor can be difficult, and it is important to find a good match. Online editing sites offer an accessible option for quickly getting a book edited, which can be an alluring prospect. Why shouldn’t you pick online editing?
In today’s increasingly digital world, there is no shortage of tips and tricks for writers (think of online grammar checkers like Grammarly). But what about digital tools for editors? In addition to the obvious editing and query tools found in Microsoft Word, it turns out that macros can be incredibly useful tools for editors.
For many aspiring freelance editors, proofreading is the best (and in some cases, the only) way to get a foot in the door. But what are proofreaders actually looking for?
While I’ve read and continue to read numerous books on the art of editing and writing, I find myself most frequently leaning on an editing tip that was thrown at me way back in high school. Read it out loud.
Unlike copyediting, which focuses purely on the text, proofreaders engage with the book after the interior has been designed and laid out. That means that in addition to keeping an eye out for egregious grammar errors and typos, the proofreader is focused on aesthetics: eliminating typographic gaffes such as widows, orphans, and runts; marking bad breaks and word stacks; and ensuring design elements such as subheads and running heads are handled consistently.
Remember that a manuscript is the result of a writer’s blood, sweat, and tears. Unless they’re lucky to be full-time writers, authors are usually people working a nine-to-five job and have to write during their lunch breaks or stay up late into the night writing after their children have gone to bed. They’ve sacrificed their energy, time, and social life to write a book, and if a query is not handled well, they could see it as an attack on them and not as constructive feedback.