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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What's the difference between proofreading and copy editing?
A copy editor focuses on language, tone, clarity, style, flow and consistency. He/she makes sure that a document is clear and readable, that it flows well, that the language used follows the rules of standard English, and that there are no errors in grammar or spelling, or inconsistencies or omissions.
Proofreading is the final stage that a document goes through, when all of the writing and editing has taken place and publication is just around the corner. A proofreader checks for errors in spelling, spacing, grammar, punctuation and formatting that were missed by the writer/editor or introduced by the publisher/printer in error.
Take a look at this paragraph:
Matthew stood on the porch, and watched the sun dip below the horizon. As the light fades and the temperature began to drop he shuddered and pulled his coat tight about him. There was heavy snow forecast for the morning according to the weather forecaster. He hoped that Susan would make it back home before the snow began to pour down.
What the proofreader will spot:
The comma placed incorrectly after ‘porch’.
The extra space before 'the sun'.
The typo: ‘fades’ when it should be ‘faded’.
The missing comma after ‘drop’.
A copy editor will also notice those errors, but he/she will also:
Question the use of ‘shuddered’. Would ‘shivered’ be a better word to use?
Suggest the removal of ‘according to the weather forecaster’, as it’s stating the obvious, adds nothing and makes the sentence clunky.
Point out that snow doesn’t ‘pour down’. Snow falls.
2. Is your service confidential?
Yes, absolutely. The nature of our work means that confidentiality is a given. We are always more than happy to sign a confidentiality agreement if you prefer. Just send us a copy for review and approval.
3. Can I speak to someone about my requirements?
Yes. As a matter of fact, all of our clients have a relationship manager available to them from the outset. He/she will be available to answer any questions and address any concerns throughout the process. This is part of our service, so it does not cost you anything extra.
4. What sort of information do you need from me?
In order to give you an accurate quotation, we'll need you to tell us about your project. What is it? What's the word count? Do you have any special requirements? What's your desired deadline? That sort of thing.
5. Which document formats do you work in?
We work in the following formats:
If you need to use a different format, please contact us to discuss your requirements. We will always do our very best to accommodate you.
6. Do you edit paper documents?
Yes, we certainly do. Please bear in mind that there will be extra costs involved, such as the postage/courier charge for your document's safe return journey to you.
7. How long will a project take?
Once we've reviewed your requirements, we will be able to provide a realistic lead time for completion. This will depend on the service chosen and the project's size and level of complexity. This will also depend on your deadline requirements.
8. Do you use AI for proofreading, copy editing, copywriting or indexing?
No, we don't. In this day and age, we're all used to having spellchecker and autocomplete on our computers and smart 'phones, and they both have their place in our lives; they're fine for alerting you to an error or speeding up the process when you're posting on social media or typing a note to a friend. However, we very strongly believe that the intellectual task of proofreading, editing, writing or indexing a manuscript can only be carried out successfully by a skilled human being.
9. Who owns the copyright?
Once the project has been completed and paid in full, the client holds the copyright to the finished work.
10. If I don't like the edits, do I have to keep them?
No, it's entirely up to you. However, you have paid for the benefit of our expertise, so it would be a shame not to take advantage of it.
11. I'm a writer and want you to edit/proofread my manuscript. Will it be painful?
Perhaps… a little. But we’re here to help, and we want the process to be as easy and painless for you as possible. Also, we always warm up our tools before we begin surgery.
12. What if English is not my first language?
If English is not your first language, and you need proofreading or editing services, we can help. We're all native English speakers here in the Word Ferret team, and we all have experience of working with non-native English speakers. We'll help you to communicate your message effectively and avoid embarrassing misunderstandings.
Proofreading and copyeditng?
Can I speak to someone?
What information do you need?
Do you edit paper documents?
How long will a project take?
Do you use AI?
Who owns the copyright?
If I don't like the edits?
Is your service confidential?
Will it be painful?
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