Copyediting and proofreading
Want confidence in your super-polished copy, so you don’t wince every time you hit ‘publish’ on your website or when your publication arrives back from the printers?
When was the last time you felt 100% confident about your ‘final’ copy?
You send your publication to print, or your hit ‘publish’ on your website. And then you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach. The butterflies. Nausea.
What if you missed an obvious typo? What if you forgot to check whether it’s ‘practice’ or ‘practise’? What if your words weren’t clear – or direct – enough and things get misinterpreted? What if they don’t have the right impact on the reader?
The truth is… when you edit or proofread your own work, it’s hard to spot mistakes or inconsistencies. Besides, it’s your job to write the copy (or commission it), not check every single sentence for clarity, repetition or typos. You just haven’t got time for that! And if you haven’t got much time, you may not do a very thorough job.
Your hard work deserves more than that. The charity deserves better than that. It’s time to call in a professional.
Psst... Here’s the good news. You can hire this keen bean to rummage around your copy or proofs with my red pen. Really, I check copy on screen and on paper like a wannabe English teacher.
Imagine never again worrying about a typo sneaking in, a grammatical error, ambiguous statements or the embarrassment of your headings not matching the table of contents.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could hand over all of that to me, leaving you to get on with the other tasks on your never-ending to-do list?
Wouldn’t that be a huge time-saver and a mahoosive weight off your shoulders?
It’s the charity’s money you're spending, so you want to know that you're in good hands.
⚡ Someone who will go beyond simply saying 'oh there's a typo here': you want someone to pull things out as queries or contradictions and show that they’re thinking of the bigger picture.
⚡ Someone you can guarantee will stick to your deadlines.
⚡ Someone who will completely put you at ease by being incredibly responsive and communicative.
⚡ To feel completely confident about sending your comms to print with the best chance possible of them being error-free.
⚡ Someone friendly and easy to deal with.
⚡ Someone who will cross the Ts and dot the... lower case Js (and if you get that reference I love you).
⚡ To work with me!
But hold up, what’s the difference between copyediting and proofreading? And what the dooce is subediting?
Copyediting and proofreading are different steps in the process of reviewing copy.
Subediting is a bit like copyediting, but it's done directly in a program like InDesign.
Copyediting is the first step of fine-tuning your copy to make it ready for publication (which can be having it professionally printed or hitting ‘publish’ on your website). It involves:
- Addressing grammatical or punctuation errors
- Checking for incorrect facts, anomalies and inconsistencies
- Removing glaring typos
- Ensuring everything fits your brand voice and house style.
The process ensures that your copy is accurate, clear, easy to follow and fit for purpose.
When subediting, I use inDesign to edit content, making sure it reads well and is presented in the best way. It involves:
- Rewriting for clarity, impact and improving accuracy (while staying true to the author's voice)
- Checking for and correcting errors in grammar, spelling, syntax, and punctuation
- Fact-checking sources and identifying statements at risk of libel
- Writing headlines, standfirsts, pull quotes and picture captions that draw the reader in
- Typesetting content to ensure it fits the available space without widows, orphans or distracting rags.
Proofreading is the final step before your copy is published. It’s a quality check and tidy-up after your text has been copyedited, laid out and designed. It focuses on:
- Removing minor errors such as misspelt words and misplaced punctuation
- Checking and fixing any inconsistencies in design and layout (for example, checking that the page numbers in the contents are correct, captions match the pictures and the line spacing is consistent).
Here are a few things I've edited and proofed...
The Practising Midwife journal
For Pets magazine
Mind – Managing mental health at work e-learning course
There are quite a few things I can't publish here (hello NDAs!), so if you're looking for samples more similar to your project, let me know, and I can pull together some anonymised relevant examples.
"Amy is very well organised, thorough, professional and friendly. I like the security of knowing with Amy's help we'll have picked up at least the vast majority of bloopers and mistakes!
It means much more professional outputs for us.I'm a total convert to getting everything we publish professionally copy edited!"
Director of Research at Social Enterprise UK
"Amy works to a really high standard, learned how to use our (quite complicated!) internal systems really quickly, and has excellent InDesign skills – the rest of the team learned a lot from her! She was fantastic to work with, really clear, positive, and communicative.
I found the whole experience of working with Amy to be brilliant! I felt like our pages were in safe hands. I hope our paths get to cross again soon."
Siân Williams Page, Editor of Hello World magazine
at the Raspberry Pi Foundation
But why choose me?
Hi, I'm Amy
I’ve been writing, editing and proofreading for over 15 years now. I was trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists, and I’ve also worked as a content producer in the SEO team of one the UK’s leading digital marketing agencies.
I’ve produced all sorts of copy. Website copy, case studies, fundraising appeals, direct mail, thank you letters, newsletters and email sequences. Printed publications like magazines, annual reviews, research and impact reports, marketing leaflets and brochures.
I’ve a killer eye for detail and I’ve never missed a deadline.
I work with charities, social enterprises and other non-profits.
Will you be one of them?