What Do Line and Copy-Editors Do?
Line and copy-editing are two slightly different sentence-level editorial services, though often the distinctions between them are blurred when it comes to putting theory into practice.
A copy-editor is responsible for the technical preparation of the author’s material for publication. That means making sure spelling, grammar, punctuation and editorial style are all correct, consistent and appropriate – without damaging the author’s voice. The copy-editor also makes sure the author’s file is prepared for typesetting (page design).
Line editing (also known as stylistic editing) goes a bit deeper. A line editor will help the author improve the artistry of their writing.
How Is This Different to Proofreading?
Proofreading is the final check, after all the line and copy-editing has been completed. A proofreader works on typeset (designed) pages and checks that there are no lingering mistakes after the editing and typesetting process. Line and copy-editors work with text files, usually in Microsoft Word. This course doesn’t cover how to proofread typeset texts.
What Does It Mean To Be a Professional Editor?
Most line and copy-editors are freelance. Not much sentence-level editing is done in-house by publishers anymore since it’s more cost-effective to outsource this task. As a freelance editor, your clients might be publishers, authors or packagers (companies that manage a variety of services to get a book ready for publication). As a freelance editor, it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re appropriately trained and able to do the job you say you can do.
This course aims to be a comprehensive introduction to sentence-level editing (in Word) to help you feel confident in taking the leap to freelance fiction editing.
This Course Could Be for You If …
- You’re completely new to line and copy-editing, and want to learn how to edit fiction
- You’ve done some basic training in copy-editing and want to cement your learning
- You’re a non-fiction editor who wants to move to fiction editing but has no idea where to start (this course might cover a little bit of what you already know)
This course isn’t for you if you don’t want to specialise in fiction editing. It’s also not for you if you’re already an established fiction copy-editor who wants to deepen and refine their practice. (I have another course in development that might be better suited to you!)
How the Course Works
This is a six-week online course. The materials will be presented as PDF modules, delivered straight to your inbox on a weekly basis. Every week, there will be an assignment. The first three assignments are self-marked against model answers (or in the case of the third week, is a task for you to complete) and the last three assignments involve some actual editing, on which I’ll give you personalised feedback.