Copy editing means checking and correcting areas such as spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and word usage. In most production workflows, copy editing occurs before proofreading. Copy editing usually involves using the Track Changes feature to mark up a Word document. I worked as an in-house copy editor for over seven years, and I am comfortable with many types of material: books, journal and magazine articles, reports, practice standards, grant applications, catalogues, and résumés.
I do not edit student papers or theses without a signed form from the professor setting out the terms of the edit. Please read the Editors Canada Guidelines for Ethical Editing of Student Texts for further information.
If you are a fiction writer looking for help with your manuscript, please read my two-part article “Hiring a Fiction Editor” before contacting me. If you still think that I may be a good fit for your project, send me a detailed email responding to the queries raised in the article, which is located here: Part One and Part Two.
Indexing, which is one of the final steps in the production process, entails creating a list of key terms found or discussed in a text. The terms include corresponding locators (often, page numbers) and are usually listed in alphabetical order. Most people who have tried indexing either love it or hate it—I am one of the former. (I have been told that I have “the soul of an indexer.”) I have indexed over forty scholarly, educational, and trade books, and I spent several years indexing Sears Canada’s major catalogues. At an Indexing Society of Canada conference, I gave a presentation about my experience indexing Michael Bryant’s memoir, 28 Seconds. I also taught an indexing seminar, Indexing 101: Back-of-the-Book Indexing for Beginners, for Editors Toronto.
Permissions and Photo Research
This type of research overlaps with several other production stages (including stylistic and copy editing) and involves obtaining written clearance for a publisher or individual to reproduce copyrighted material. Photo research also encompasses finding suitable images to use in a new publication. With over ten years of experience clearing permissions for Canadian educational publishers, I am well-versed in Canadian copyright rules. To share my knowledge of permissions more widely, I taught a webinar series, Demystifying Permissions Clearance and Photo Research, for Editors Canada.
A proofreader checks all of the areas that a copy editor does, and also verifies typography: For example, is the spacing between lines consistent? Are page numbers in the correct order? In most production workflows, proofreading occurs after copy editing. Proofreading usually involves using either a pencil to mark up a hard copy or the Tools and Comment tabs in Adobe Acrobat to mark up a PDF. A document ready for proofreading looks similar in layout to what a reader would see when the document is published. Some clients seeking proofreading are actually looking for copy editing. I have proofread various types of books (trade, scholarly, and educational), reports, and practice standards.
A stylistic edit includes smoothing transitions between sentences and paragraphs for better readability, trimming wordiness, and eliminating or minimizing jargon and clichés. In most production workflows, stylistic editing takes place before or at the same time as copy editing. Many clients seeking copy editing are grateful when I suggest stylistic editing, too, so I often bundle these services. Books, journal articles, practice standards, and reports are some of the types of material I have edited for style.
Please read the Editors Canada Definitions of Editorial Skills for further details about different types of editing.
Rates vary depending on the project and service. Contact me for details.