Copyediting & Proofreading: Similar Yet Different

Bookmasters Blog


When it comes to the many editorial services Bookmasters offers, most authors have a fairly clear idea of what “indexing,” “accuracy checking,” and “securing permissions” entail. But authors sometimes stumble over the differences between “copyediting” and “proofreading.”

“After all, it’s the same thing,” they’ll say. “In both instances, you read my book and point out and fix any errors. Right?”

Wrong, but the confusion is understandable (although a bit frustrating at times). On the surface, it may seem as if the processes are identical because, yes, each professional is reviewing and correcting the words on a page in some way. But that’s where the similarities end.

Let’s take each process individually and compare what the two offer (and don’t offer):

Copyediting is the review and correction of an author’s originally written manuscript. The copyeditor takes the author’s electronic manuscript (typically in Microsoft Word) and cleans the text, addressing issues including…

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