What is the Difference Between Proofreading and Editing?

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If you are an aspiring author looking to get your manuscript published, then you’re sure to have come across the terms “proofreading” and “editing.” It’s also likely that you have wondered about the differences between the two. Both steps are an integral part of the book publishing process, steps you would be well advised to not skip. Proofreading and editing ensure that your manuscript is error-free and reads well. Now, let’s take a look at the differences between the two.

What Is Editing?

Editing is a means of improving the writing and can mean the difference between an average book and an excellent book. It seeks to enhance the readability, improve the flow, and polish the structure of your work. There are three types of editing that you can choose from: line editing, copyediting, and developmental editing. All three of these serve to improve the reading experience, and you are likely to benefit from the use of one or more of these services.

What Is Proofreading?

With proofreading, you can address surface issues in your book that might crop up just before publishing. A proofreader looks for typos, grammatical errors, and formatting issues (e.g., uniformity of line and page breaks, layout concerns) that escaped attention or were inadvertently introduced during prior editing rounds. Apart from these, a proofreader also looks out for any obvious mistakes in tables and artwork (e.g., graphs, photos, figures).

Proofreading versus Editing

Proofreading is often mistaken for editing and vice versa. But the fact remains that the two are completely different processes. Here are the main differences between these two important steps in the publishing process:

Corrects spelling and grammarImproves the overall quality of writing
Does not require inputs from the authorRequires inputs from the author
Is done on the final draft of the manuscriptIs performed on the first draft and might be an ongoing process
Quicker turnaroundUsually a lengthier process

When to Choose Proofreading and Editing Services?

Opting for a proofreading service alone might be a good idea when the writing is of excellent quality and just needs to be checked for surface errors. Here, language and structure are good to go, and only a basic grammar and punctuation check might be required. This requirement is common when the author is a student or an academic. It is also a good option for edited documents that are just one step away from publication. Editing, on the other hand, is a must if the author is not a native speaker of the language as it can help with the right nuances. Native speakers can also benefit from an editing service, as it can help enhance the overall quality of their writing. It can also help your manuscript conform to the necessary publishing conventions of the particular genre.

What Are the Benefits of Taking Up Editing and Proofreading Services for an Author?

As an author, you stand to immensely benefit from opting for professional editing and proofreading services. Some of these ways are as follows:

  • By opting for the professional touch, you will be able to weed out any mistakes that escaped your eye and increase your chances of bringing out an error-free and much readable book.
  • You can get feedback from your editor and proofreader on the ways you can enhance the quality of your writing.
  • It helps you gain insights into the rules of writing, grammar, punctuation, and formatting. This can come in handy when you make your next foray into the world of publishing.
  • With the help of these experts, you can give your book the finishing touch it needs and set it on the path to success.

The traditional publishing market as well as the self-publishing segment is quite competitive, and making use of professional proofreading and editing services puts you at a distinctive advantage. Learn more about our author services at Ament Author Services

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