What is Copyediting?
Copyediting deals with language — not with content. It makes the language of a text correct and consistent while preserving the meaning and voice of the original text.
A copy editor will correct mechanics like spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and word usage, and impost a consistent style on a manuscript. (We default to the Chicago Manual of Style.) In the context of copyediting, style refers to the treatment of numbers and numerals, quotations, abbreviations, acronyms, italics, and so forth.
What is Proofreading?
Proofreading is a final editing pass to catch typos and errors the copyeditor may have missed. Some publishing houses or editors perform this check after a manuscript has been prepared for publication. At My Two Cents Editing, we call the second round of copyediting the proofreading pass.
Copyediting is Not Line Editing
Line editing can be thought of as deep copyediting. Whereas copyediting aims to make a piece of writing clear, correct, and consistent, line editing goes deeper, seeking to improve flow, rhythm, style, and structure. This is where the magic happens and your writing improves.
Please note that we no longer provide line editing for full manuscripts.
However, we’d be delighted to teach you how to line edit your own work. Please check out our Line-Editing Lessons for more information.
Our Approach to Copyediting & Proofreading
At My Two Cents Editing, we firmly believe that every manuscript needs at least two separate sets of professional eyes on it, so our Copyediting & Proofreading service is a package deal. Every manuscript gets two passes: one by a senior editor, the second by a separate copy editor. If our copyediting rates seem high, this is why: You’re getting two full editing passes by two expert editors.
We also strongly believe that every manuscript should go through critique before it’s copyedited. There are several reasons for this.
- If your manuscript has been professionally critiqued, we can feel confident that any weaknesses in the story or content are either intentional or so dear to your heart that no one could convince you to fix them.
2. If your manuscript has been professionally critiqued, we can feel confident that you’re satisfied with the existing style, tone, and structure, and are not interested in exploring the improvements that line editing could introduce.
3. If your manuscript has been professionally critiqued BY US, we can feel confident that we’re not about to start rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Copyediting is a painstaking, time-consuming process that’s part slog through the mire, part sacred duty — and it’s expensive, too. We want to make sure you’re investing wisely, so don’t be surprised if we encourage you to focus your efforts on earlier stages of the writing process instead of going straight for the final polish. Your writing will be all the stronger for it.