Copy Editors 101: Find a Freelance Copy Editor For Hire With TUW
Do you want your research paper, book, manuscript, or blog post to come out perfectly polished? Grammar principles sound simple, but when it comes to publishing or sending your work out for evaluation, each sentence counts. No matter how hard you try, you can't always line edit with the skill of a professional copy editor.
Copy editing is all about making sure that your content is technically accurate, reads well, and is overall a pleasant read for your audience, whoever they may be. For this, you can get a professional copy editor to go over the content to correct errors and inconsistencies. This is called line editing, and it's your editor's most important task.
Various publishing houses and self-publishing authors need their creative writing verified by an expert who’ll help them earn the trust of their readers.
Whether it's fiction or non-fiction, blog or magazine, company email, or an ad, copy editing is an essential part of presenting yourself and your work in the best possible way!
Quality Content and Attention to Detail: Let a Copyeditor Help
Are you sure that comma belongs there? Perhaps, one of your sentences is confusing, and the copy editor can smooth it out to make it coherent and easier to follow along with.
If you allow a professional copy editor to review your manuscript, you'll likely find that the changes they suggest make your work look more elegant, effective, engaging, and overall better quality compared to how it was.
But, what if your copy editor finds that there are gaps in your content or unanswered questions? Perhaps, you’ve been creatively writing a novel, and upon finishing and sending it to an editor for a review, you discover that there are plot holes? Or, your copy editor points out that your book just doesn't have enough substance?
You can use developmental editing services to make your content well-rounded, thorough, impactful, and useful! There are many different types of editing for you to choose from, from hiring TUW copy editors to working with a freelance editor.
What Is Copy Editing?
Whoever you are, no matter what you're publishing, each manuscript line has to be perfect for your content to serve its best purpose! The purpose is the main focus of all editing. Copy editors review each of your sentences thoroughly and check their correctness, structure, style, and design to ensure it serves their best purpose.
Most copy editors specialize in the following skills:
Line editing: Your editor will line edit the online copy to check for sentence structure issues, missing commas or mechanics, and any other grammatical improvements that can be made. This also includes spacing, inconsistencies, word overuse, and everything else that reduces your content quality.
Creative writing: Copy editors ensure adherence to a particular style that reflects the brand/author/publisher message in their promotional content, like social media posts and emails.
Fact-checking in non-fiction manuscripts: Although it's not a rule, many copy editors offer fact-checking, where they screen for factual errors in writing as an additional service.
Content screening for website landing pages: Editors will review for adherence to content quality standards and adherence to English language and grammar rules.
Technical editing: Ensuring the spotless technical accuracy of the text.
Do You Need Copy Editing?
Copy editing isn't mandatory, but it's necessary to improve the quality of your content. Copy editors can help you get your article, essay, paper, book, or website content to better adhere to the APA style manual if needed.
Various publishing houses and individual book publishers seek to increase the value of your work with more creative writing and improvements made to your writing style. Line editing done by your freelance editor ensures that you're never accused of sloppy writing after publishing!
If you're pitching your non-fiction or creative writing to various publishing houses, it has to be absolutely perfect!
Your book then has to adhere to all of its requirements, from the style to any other publishing standards set for online media, magazine articles, academic articles, online courses, and any other form of content.
The same applies to non-fiction manuscripts that have to be perfectly aligned with impeccable grammar and proofread, with each sentence clear and tailored to serve its designated platform.
Learn How Copyeditors Work
Self-publishing authors, publishing companies, and various publishing houses hire an editor to polish their written content and make it its best version. Copy editors review written text and correct spelling, improve grammar and punctuation, and make sure that the style and structure of the written work are consistent.
Self-publishing authors need an expert to go over their unpublished materials and make sure that their work follows all English language, literature, and style rules. That way, your creative writing meets the highest quality standards.
Professional Copy Editor FAQs
With numerous types of writing come several different copy editor roles and duties. Find out the basics of who a copy editor is and what they do:
What a Copy Editor Does?
A copy editor reviews commercial content to secure the spelling, punctuation, syntax, and English grammar accuracy of the client's or company's content. Copy editors also fact-check and verify that all writing and information published by their employer is legitimate and professional.
Does a Copy Editor Have a Good Career?
A copy editing career is indeed a nice one! Copy editors do diligent, detailed work, but they're rewarded by satisfying workplaces and salaries that average between $25,000 and $60,000 yearly.
These are estimates for an editor who typically works in companies and is usually hired full-time. There are also part-time and freelancers, who earn different rates depending on how much time they work, their industry, their experience, and the type of content editing they do.
Is Being a Proofreader Different Than a Copy Editor?
Professional copy editors do similar but slightly different work than regular proofreading. Proofreading is a process of reviewing written work and correcting all detectable errors. It's often done multiple times.
Copy editing, on the other hand, is more thorough work of increasing readability, polishing style guide adherence, fact-checking, and more.
What's Different Between Being a Copy Editor and Working as an Editor?
Professional copy editors perform thorough proofreading, but copy editors focus more on the technical content quality. Most copy editors focus more on language, and English grammar while copy editors boost the content quality on all levels.
No matter what your writing experience is, it's very difficult to catch all grammatical errors and spelling mistakes while following all English grammar rules perfectly as a self-publisher.
Your focus is likely on content quality and your mind is geared toward the audience, as it should be. Copy editors are there to elevate your content beyond fine writing.
What's a Professional Editor Role?
Being a professional editor takes what most copy editors do to the next level. Book publishers, both self-publishers and commercial, needed their publications to have superb quality and appeal to their readers.
The same goes for non-fiction books, whose written material is expected to bring about an actual, visible change in readers' lives as opposed to only being an enjoyable read. An editor here removes all redundancies and ensures that the author's message is heard loud and clear.
Professional proofreading requires attention to detail. Most copy editors first review content and then offer their feedback so that the writer can improve their work. Copy editing also gives input on content structure, including headlines and titles.
What Professional Copy Editors's Jobs Usually Entail
Copy editors help writers adjust writing style, improve the content structure, and address any writing inconsistencies that might confuse the reader. Writing styles must mirror author/brand/company values and message, which also translates onto the content purpose. As such, they also must be included in copy editing so that the final product serves its intention.
Content rewriting to ensure that readers understand the content well. Copy editors start with line editing, then restructuring and rephrasing content to improve readability, impact, and even writing styles (e.g. Chicago Manual of Style) and page layouts if the content is to be published in online media.
Developmental copy editing includes content evaluation and thorough feedback to upgrade content whether through corrections or content rewriting. What if your non-fiction books are in great shape but can be made amazingly in an expert editor's hands? For this, you can hire an editor, whether a professional or a copy editor, to do some developmental editing.
Substantive copy editing is a bit different than developmental editing for both fiction and non-fiction books. With substantive editing, the copy editor improves content structure, adherence to basic formatting rules and style guides, language use, titles, and other elements before your online publications go out. Most other editors check writing against these crucial standards regardless of content type and volume.
Do Copy Editors Screen for Punctuation Errors?
Yes! Your editorial expert will screen your writing for any punctuation errors. Most copy editors focus on the following errors when copy editing:
Errors with superfluous and misused commas
Dispensable or absent hyphens
Among other things.
Find a Freelance Copy Editor With TUW
While there are other copyeditors who are talented professionals, The Urban Writers recruits, screens, and trains copyeditors to boost their many editorial skills. A talented copyeditor can apply to work with us, but they will undergo thorough testing so that we're sure that their work meets the highest quality standards.
Whether you need someone to proofread your online media content, or you need thorough edits so that a publisher picks up your title, you have to know who to trust. Here at TUW, we expect edits to be spotless. Our freelancers check content for accuracy and go over each manuscript line-by-line to screen for mistakes, readability issues, and plagiarism.
Look no further because we've got talented people who know what self-publishing authors shouldn't do! Take copying content (plagiarizing), for example, this could make you legally liable or have your work discredited. When outsourcing writing, checking for plagiarism and accuracy is key to ensuring our self-publishing author's content is authentic and original.
What Is a TUW Copy Editor's Job Description?
We've trained our experts to fix things that other experts frequently forget. Here's what our editing process looks like:
First, you share files with us so that we have your manuscript and all other relevant information.
A copy editor reads the manuscript for the first time to identify developmental issues. The copyeditor then asks the writer to review their Google Docs comments and discuss the best options for improvements.
Our copyeditors also check for factual correctness. We expect our writers to follow our style guides, which entail that every source used for the content is cited within the manuscript and referenced at the end of the document.
When all this is done, our copyeditor will go in and perform a thorough line editing. Line editing entails making sure that typos, grammatical and spelling mistakes, punctuation flaws, and style mishaps are all picked up and corrected before the final pass. After they've completed, your writing is considered polished!
Choose a Copy Editor to Hire
The Urban Writers lets you browse and choose the specific editorial skills you're after by looking into our experts' portfolios and samples. That way, you can design which freelancer is the best fit for your content and can provide the best services including:
Online media posts, articles, and other publications
Fiction and non-fiction books
Basic Steps to Become a Copy Editor
Being a copy editor is a huge responsibility. Love for reading and superb language skills aren't enough to ensure top content quality.
A copy editor doesn't only correct grammar. A successful copy editing career also requires these capabilities:
College degree, bachelor's degree in English grammar or English literature to ensure published work is spotless
Computer expertise: online publication, computer file, book writing/editing experience, and preferably having worked in the book publishing industry
Microsoft Office skills, like line editing in Microsoft Word and Google Docs
Copy editing requires education, skills, and experience. Here's what anyone who wants to become a professional editor, a copy editor, or a freelance editor must be willing to do in order to make a successful copy editing career:
Find Copy Editing Jobs
Every copy editor has a representation panel, whether on social media, their personal website, or a hiring platform like The Urban Writers. There, you can see samples (or previous copy edited work) and get a feel for their editor skills. Here are some strategies to find work as a newbie copyeditor:
Ask for jobs! Offer to correct errors in people's business documentation and company content in exchange for a reference.
Find copy editor gigs on job platforms.
Get online certifications.
Join Editorial Societies (ACES Society).
Build the right work ethic/interpersonal skills.
Follow AP (Associated Press Stylebook) and Chicago Manual of Style. Learn to follow the Associated Press Stylebook to the T! The AP style is used in the majority of US publications and is universally required by publishers.
Work flexible projects and hours.
Become a niche expert. Be a subject expert to get better job opportunities. Book newspaper blogs.
Boost your copy editing skills. Practice finding mechanical errors in sentences and attend online courses.