What does editing involve?
According to Editors Canada…
“Editing involves carefully reviewing material before it is published and suggesting or making changes to correct or improve it. The editor must communicate clearly and tactfully with all team members, and clearly mark and convey changes, suggestions, and directions. In all cases, the editor should strive to make all changes without altering intended meaning or introducing errors.
The editor should also be aware of the legal and ethical dimensions of the publishing process, including issues involving copyright, plagiarism, libel, privacy protection, and confidentiality, and the need to address biased, non-inclusive, and offensive material.”
Why hire an editor?
Here is what Editors Canada identifies as Five Good Reasons
What types of editing do you offer?
A variety of terms are used to describe what an editor does. Editors Canada defines four core skills in their Professional Editorial Standards. Based on the Editors Canada definitions, the following are the skills and services I offer to clients in whatever combination best suits your project requirements and goals.
Structural Editing assesses and shapes draft material to improve its organization and content. Changes may be suggested to or drafted for the writer. This may include:
- revising, reordering, cutting, or expanding material
- writing original material
- recasting material that would be better presented in another form, or revising material for a different medium (such as revising print copy for web copy)
- clarifying plot, characterization, or thematic elements
Stylistic Editing clarifies meaning, ensures coherence and flow, and refines the language. It may include:
- eliminating jargon, clichés, and euphemisms
- establishing or maintaining the language level appropriate for the intended audience, medium, and purpose
- adjusting the length and structure of sentences and paragraphs
- establishing or maintaining tone, mood, style, and authorial voice or level of formality
Copy Editing ensures correctness, accuracy, consistency, and completeness. It may include:
- editing for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage
- checking for consistency and continuity of mechanics and facts, including anachronisms, character names, and relationships
- correcting or querying general information that should be checked for accuracy
- Canadianizing or other localizing converting measurements
- checking web links
Proofreading examines material after layout or in its final format to correct errors in textual and visual elements. The material may be read in isolation or against a previous version. It may include checking for:
- adherence to design
- minor mechanical errors (such as spelling mistakes or deviations from style sheet)
- consistency and accuracy of elements in the material (such as cross-references, running heads, captions, web page heading tags, hyperlinks, and metadata)
- flagging or checking locations of art
- inserting page numbers or checking them against content and page references
Note that proofreading is checking a work after editing; it is not a substitute for editing.
What’s the difference between coaching and consulting?
Typically, a coach works to empower a client to achieve their goal on their own – e.g., guiding a student through the academic writing process, aiding an author through writer’s block. Whereas a consultant often advises a client on possible solutions to a particular problem or issue – e.g., identifying opportunities to improve presentation or promotional materials. Though some situations call for either coaching or consulting, in reality, I find a blend of the two is what works best for most clients. For Wise Owl Wordsmithing, coaching services tend to be best suited for students and authors, with consulting services aimed at businesses and organizations.
What type of clients do you work with?
I primarily work with students, academics, businesses, and organizations. However, I also work with authors and individuals.
What are your fees? How long will it take?
Each project is unique – from pure editing, creating, coaching, or consulting to projects requiring a combination of services. Once we have a conversation about your project goals and needs, we’ll be able to determine which, if any*, of my services are the right fit. Then I’ll be able to provide you with a quote and a timeline. If we agree to proceed, we will do so according to a formal agreement (statement of work).
*If my services are not what you need to reach your goals, I’ll let you know. I won’t sell you services that you don’t need nor any services that I’m not capable of providing.
What software do you work with?
For editing, I primarily work in Word using Track Changes.
For collaborative and creative projects, I typically use Word, Publisher, or Power Point.