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ELENA ZAGREBELNAYA, TRANSLATOR

Alison has edited the English language text of several books that I translated from Russian. She would have to revise the text and we would then discuss problematic issues, after which she would finalise the English and edit it to improve the quality of the work. This involved a lot of communication as there would be questions on her part, when the text would have to be compared to the original. And, of course, there were always deadlines to be met. But because of Alison's excellent writing skills, which were a great boon for our work, our deadlines were never missed even though every detail was looked into and thoroughly discussed. In fact, I would say that diligence, patience, a friendly attitude, and commitment were her main strengths.

COPY-EDITING: NON-FICTION

I described developmental editing as what you see when you regard the work as a whole. Copy-editing is when you move your focus in to see the work at the level of sentence and word. Here, you are not looking at how the argument flows through the book but at the words and punctuation that have been used.


Copy-editing focuses on spelling, grammar, and maintaining consistency with a chosen or created style guide.

 
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QUESTIONS AN EDITOR MIGHT ASK OF THE MANUSCRIPT

 

Check grammar, spelling, and punctuation

Watch out for factual errors

Examine the language for unnecessary jargon or clashing tones

Check that sentences are clear and unambiguous?

Ensure adherence to an agreed upon style sheet

Consistently apply capitalisation and hyphenation

Ensure consistency in references

WHEN DO YOU NEED A COPY-EDIT?

This edit is about ensuring consistency and attending to words. It needs to be done when there are no major or structural issues: there is no point in polishing the words if the books needs a restructure that will cause them to be deleted.

 

WHAT DO YOU GET?

FULLY MARKED-UP MANUSCRIPT

Using Microsoft Word’s Track Changes and Comments functions, page edits are used to suggest changes to the text.

STYLE SHEET

A style sheet is created showing decisions made about spelling, hyphenation and capitalisation. This is to ensure consistency throughout the document and is a useful tool if the manuscript is to be proofread.

POST-EDITING SUPPORT

After receiving your feedback, you may have some questions. I am available for a follow-up email on any copy-editing matters.

A CLEAN MANUSCRIPT

You will receive a version of your manuscript as it would look with all my suggestions accepted.

 

VARIATIONS ON THE SERVICE

SMALLER PIECES

Articles, webpages, and business reports can be copy-edited to ensure they make the best impression.

 

WHAT NEXT?

For all the practical aspects, such as costs and timescales, and to be taken through the process of hiring me as a non-fiction editor, please see The Practicals.