Proofreading is not just about spotting mistakes, although that does form one part of the role. The proofreader provides the quality check before material is published, in whatever format. A proofreader will look for consistency in usage and presentation, and accuracy in text, images and layout. The terms of reference for a proofreader should be agreed before work starts.
Professional proofreaders will:
- Compare the proofs to the edited copy, or read ‘blind’
- Check page numbers and page headings
- Check the table of contents against chapter titles, page numbers, appendices and index etc
- Ensure consistent styles, by following style guide, if supplied, or compiling their own
- Watch out for omissions and inconsistencies in typography, layout and content
- Judge the need for changes
- Identify necessary changes and mark the proof, on paper or screen, using British Standards Institute (BSI) Marks, or another agreed method
- Check or insert cross-references, where feasible
- Eliminate inelegant or confusing word, column and page breaks, including ‘widows’ and ‘orphans’
- Ensure that illustrations, captions and labels correspond with each other and with the text
- Check that content is right and is logically arranged
- Liaise with the author to resolve queries
- Collate the author’s changes with others’, including their own, rationalising or querying conflicting instructions
Part of the role may include light editing but only within tight limits. Professional proofreaders do not re-edit the material.
(Adapted from the Society for Editors and Proofreaders website, 2014)
Copy writers will work from a brief to create a new, informative and factually correct article. The brief supplied by the client may provide all the necessary information, or the copy writer may be required to do additional research to gather further details for the finished article. Writing for specific audiences, the copy writer will be able produce copy that suits the intended publication and audience, in tone, content and level of information. Being able to write to brief, word length and tight deadlines are essential skills for a copy writer.
Professional copy writers will:
- Work from a client’s brief
- Gather further information if required
- Generate new, informative and factually correct copy
- Produce an article that meets all the requirements set by the client and the target publication
- Be able to pitch the article to the intended audience
- Deliver copy within strict deadlines
- Maintain high levels of professionalism
- Liaise with the client
A press officer will be able to assess the potential newsworthy aspects of an organisation and its work. Within agreed terms the press officer will then write press releases to fulfil the organisation’s aims while at the same time appealing to intended media and its audience.
Professional press officers will:
- Identify potential newsworthy aspects of an organisation’s work
- Research the area through interviews and secondary sources
- Write press releases that promote the organisation’s aims/ethos and appeal to the target media and its audience
- Distribute the press releases to media outlets (newspapers, radio, television, internet based resources) based on local, regional, national aims as well as specific areas of interest dependent on the press release focus
- Supply notes to editors, contact details, photographs and organise interviews/photo calls to fulfil media requirements
- Liaise with members of the media as a representative of the client organisation
Each job will be priced individually according to the type of work to be undertaken; proofreading, copy writing or press and promotional work. I usually work on an hourly basis and an estimation of the number of hours a job will take will be discussed with the client at the beginning of the process.
The fees charged for proofreading will be calculated using suggested minimum rates for freelancers outlined by the Society for Editors and Proofreaders. The level of intervention required will also be taken into consideration once I have assessed a sample of the material.
Invoices are submitted at the end of the month or on completion of the job, depending on the timescale involved. Invoices must be paid in full within 30 days.
Contact me today to discuss your editorial requirements