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FAQs

Will anyone care if my text has a few errors?

Absolutely. Let’s say you’re setting up a portfolio website to attract customers for your service. What impression would a website full of careless typos, grammar mistakes, and untidy formatting give your potential customers? Not a good one.

Similarly, if you’re an author looking to attract publishers, you’ll have a hard time piquing their interest if your manuscript is full of mistakes or if the language and grammar leave them wondering what’s going on.

Editing and proofreading are all about ensuring quality and communicating your message, whatever it may be, in the best way possible. In my view, it’s essential.

 

Why not just use Grammarly?

Grammarly is an AI-powered proofreading tool that highlights basic errors in your writing. The trouble is that the suggestions it offers can be incorrect in the context of your unique text. You might not be able to tell the good suggestions from those that should be ignored.

Editing and proofreading require human input and expertise. Rules can’t be applied universally, but this is what Grammarly does. By accepting all the tool’s “fixes”, you could introduce errors into your text or disrupt its flow and tone. Therefore, its use should be limited. It should never replace a professional human editor/proofreader.

How long does editing take?

It depends. How good is your writing? How complex is your text?

Here’s a ballpark estimate: I line and copyedit texts at a rate of 1,000–2,000 per hour. It might take longer if your text is complicated or the writing requires a lot of improvement. It might take less time if you’re a brilliant copywriter!

Proofreading is far more speedy as it requires less intervention.

I’ll be able to give you a time estimate when you send me a sample of your text. Don’t hesitate to get in touch!

 

Do you have experience editing/proofreading in [insert topic]?

I often see clients advertising for editors with X number of years of experience in editing for a particular topic.

Over the years, editors will naturally gain more experience in certain topics or industries. I, for example, have much more experience editing texts about health topics than I do about crypto.

However, as soon as you start looking for an editor with niche experience, you risk hiring someone whose skills in the niche surpass their editing abilities. You enter well I think I’m good at spotting errors and I’m a developer, so hire me as an editor for your tech company territory.

Not everyone will make a good editor/proofreader. It’s a very specific skill set and requires not only a deep understanding of English grammar (which we all know is a minefield) but exceptional attention to detail. I’m not a doctor, and yet I’ve been known to spot serious factual medical errors that doctors have missed. That’s because it’s my job to assess the details and identify inconsistencies.

With all that being said, here are some of the topics I have experience in:

  • Healthcare, medical
  • Software, IT, cybersecurity
  • Customer insights and research
  • Sales and customer engagement
  • Digital marketing
  • Animal welfare
  • Travel
  • Charitable giving, legacy fundraising

My business has a team of copywriters. Could we benefit from an editor/proofreader’s services too?

Copywriters and editors share many of the same skills. For example, a copywriter couldn’t write professionally if they used terrible grammar, while an editor couldn’t offer valuable insights if they didn’t know what makes good writing.

However, even the best copywriters will tell you that it’s challenging to produce a lot of brilliant strategic content that is completely free from errors. An editor/proofreader is skilled at optimising writing and spotting errors immediately.

Another element of professional editing/proofreading is ensuring style is adopted consistently. Let’s say you have a team of 10 copywriters who are all expected to adhere to your company’s style guide. You need a dedicated editor to oversee the quality and consistency of this writing. An editor can also help you create a style guide for your writers to follow.

My writing is intended for a US audience. You’re from the UK. Does that matter?

Many of my clients are US-based or prefer US-style English in their professional documents. I have experience editing using US-style grammar, spelling and punctuation. I’m also familiar with popular US-English style guides, particularly the Chicago Manual of Style.

I’ve already hired a designer. Does my manuscript need editing too?

This one’s for the would-be self-published writers out there.

Your manuscript really needs to be edited and proofread before typsetting. This is the process of putting the text into ebook or print format.

If you’re working with a designer, they will send you PDF proofs to check before pressing the “go” button, as it were. At this stage, I’d recommend having a final proof carried out to check that everything looks as it should and no errors have been introduced. You’d be surprised at what sneaky mistakes can appear in a printed book that didn’t exist in the manuscript.

Editing should not be taking place at this stage, as your designer (or you) will need to do the typsetting again to accommodate major changes.

I hired/I am a professional copywriter. Do I also need to hire an editor/proofreader?

I’ve worked with many professional copywriters who are incredible at their jobs, but they still require a second opinion on their work. It’s incredibly easy to miss errors in something you’ve written yourself because your focus is elsewhere.