The world of editing and proofreading can seem mysterious, especially if you’re new to it. It’s a part of the book creation process which is often invisible to us. I wanted to share this behind-the-scenes post to tell you more about what’s involved and what to expect.
I have had the pleasure of working with Julia Wolfendale, an executive coach, author and founder of On The Up Consulting to edit and proofread her wonderful book Five Ways to Focus.
Julia explains that the book ‘is about discovering a new way to beat the overwhelm and deal with the distraction by focusing on what matters. So often we feel our time is frittered away and we are disconnected from our true priorities. Many of us get caught up in other people’s dramas, losing focus on where we want to be and comparing ourselves to others, rather than valuing what we have and seeing what we can actually do.’
She adds that: ‘this book is for anyone who has a sense of overwhelm or is feeling stuck and doesn’t know where to turn. It is for people who might be at a change point or a boiling point who want to understand what matters most to them in order to move forwards with purpose and positivity.’
When Julia approached me, she was looking for someone she could trust to give her honest feedback, understand what she was looking to achieve and help her to do that. She wanted a fresh pair of eyes to see the things she hadn’t noticed and for her book to be better as a result.
So, what’s involved in editing and proofreading?
People often confuse editing and proofreading though there are differences.
Editing usually refers to substantial changes to a manuscript. This can include suggesting changes to the structure and rewriting sections to make it flow better.
Proofreading is the final step of editing a manuscript before it is published. Typically, it involves making minor changes to the text rather than the more substantial changes associated with editing. This can include changes to spelling, punctuation, typing and layout.
It’s worth thinking deeply about the difference and what’s right for you. When I first chatted to Julia, she thought she wanted proofreading but when she found out more about the difference between the two she decided she would value both.
What’s the value of editing and proofreading?
Both editing and proofreading are about helping you to put your best work out into the world and allowing your story to shine through. The small changes can make a big difference.
As a writer myself, I know from experience how hard it is to spot any errors when you’ve spent a long time with a text. Having someone look at it with a fresh pair of eyes can be incredibly useful before you publish. An editor or proofreader can help by making constructive suggestions and supporting you to share your best work.
What steps are involved in editing and proofreading?
I’ve created the editing and proofreading service to help put your mind at rest and minimise the stress of finalising your manuscript. This can free you up to focus on your next creative project or take a well-earned break.
There are a few simple steps involved:
- You get in touch to let me know you’re interested in editing or proofreading.
- I will set up a discovery call to find out more about you and your project and talk through what support I can offer.
- I will give you a personalised quote and timescales for your book.
- If you decide you want to go ahead, I will send you an agreement to sign. If you decide that it’s not for you or you’re not ready yet then there is no obligation.
- You send me your manuscript and I start the editing or proofreading magic.
- I send you a marked-up version of your manuscript and a document with editorial or proofreading suggestions.
Julia gave me the following lovely feedback: ‘working with Louise meant that I had someone I could trust. It was so reassuring as Louise was so professional and provided a high-quality experience. The fact that Louise took time to understand what the book was about and what it meant to me, made a real difference. I felt I received a very personalised and responsive service. Louise showed a real interest in me producing the book I hoped to create and it is undoubtedly a better book because of her input.’
I hope this helps you understand more about what’s involved in editing and proofreading. I’d be happy to help with any questions you have about the process.