Editing is perhaps the most underutilized step of writing, particularly for those who self-publish or have a tight budget (and who doesn't?). This one step, however, can improve your work and bolster your credibility.
Every writer and author knows the ultimate goal of their work is to please only one person: the reader. A well-edited piece of work ensures a seamless, pleasurable reading experience, unsnagged by errors.
You may wonder if you even need an editor. Most people cannot edit their own work—effectively, anyway—because they are simply too close to the material. A second, fresh set of eyes can catch much more. An editor also can save you money by eliminating costly rewrites and delays in the publishing process caused by errors. Need more convincing? Read more here.
What about checking spelling and grammar with automated programs? No algorithm can do what a human can. Put this properly spelled (and grammatically incorrect) question into any of those fancy online writing checkers and see for yourself.
"Butte wye wood, eye knead ah 'proof reeder wen there-is spiel and gramma cheques?"
Editing or proofreading? (or both?)
Proofreading: the basic service
Proofreading is ideally done after a document has been edited because it only catches small errors that have persisted or have been introduced through multiple previous passes. It should be the last task before a document is considered "done."
I do not recommend having a document proofread without prior editing to save money or time. Multiple costly revisions often become necessary. For simpler pieces, proofreading may suffice, but most pieces require an initial edit.
Proofreading is finding problems with these basic items:
√ Grammar, punctuation, spelling
√ Capitalization, number and hyphen usage
√ Large formatting issues
√ Word usage
√ Obvious structure inaccuracies or inconsistencies
Proofreading is usually $0.01 a word, which includes my taking a second look after you have made your decided changes. Each project has a $20 minimum. See the FAQ for more information.
Proofreading a document that I have edited is $0.005 a word, provided that you have not made significant changes between processes.
Editing: Proofreading Plus
I find that when most people say they want their document "proofread," they really mean "edited." They request help making content clearer and more consistent by improving word choices and flow and for feedback overall on what needs to happen to make it better. They need an editor.
An edit consists of proofreading, plus addressing:
√ Smooth sentence and content flow
√ Consistent content
√ Appropriate word choices
√ Basic fact-checking
√ Overall readability
Editing starts at $0.02 a word, which includes my taking a second look after you have made your decided changes. Each project has a $20 minimum. See the FAQ for more information.
With the exception of veterinary services, I will not rewrite sentences or create content. That is the job of a developmental editor, who examines and critiques your manuscript or document as a whole and suggests content for revising where needed. It assesses the overall framework while evaluating plot, characters, and style. If this is something you feel your document needs first, I can recommend one to you.