‘Editing’ or ‘copyediting’ is the process of revising written material to improve its readability, ensuring it is clear, concise and grammatically and factually correct. Editing your copy is a key stage of the editorial process and is essential when preparing a writing project for print or publication. Copyediting is the first stage of the editorial revision process and begins once the draft copy is complete, but before your marketing materials are designed or set as artwork by a graphic designer.
Copyediting will usually take longer than the final stage of the editorial process – proofreading – because it’s much more involved and will usually include some form of rewriting.
Substantive editing (also known as ‘structural editing’ or ‘developmental editing’) focuses on content, style, structure and meaning. It is often an ‘overview’ edit that digests the text holistically and may involve restructuring the order or layout of the piece. Copyediting (also called ‘line editing’) is a more in-depth form of editing, concentrating on consistency and accuracy, and will see the copy analysed line by line.
Copy editors will initially examine copy for typos, grammatical errors and punctuation mistakes. On top of this, they’ll ensure the spelling is consistent, the formatting is logical, the writing flows naturally, any jargon is explained, and any acronyms or initialisms are spelled out in full. A copy editor will also check that the writer’s ideas are communicated in a clear, concise and easy-to-understand way, that any language used is appropriate for the piece’s intended audience, and that it avoids unnecessary repetition, tautology or redundant wording. Copyediting may sometimes involve a level of fact checking.
How we can help you with editing
At Catch the Sun Communications, our team of expert freelance copy editors can suggest ways to enhance and improve your writing so it’s in the best possible shape for publication or print. We’ll be on the lookout for mistakes, inconsistencies and issues with continuity, and will recommend changes to improve wording and sentence flow or make the meaning clearer.
If your company has an existing brand guideline document, writing style guide, tone of voice guide or style sheet, we’ll adhere to this as we copyedit. If you’re an Australian Government client, our editors have an in-depth knowledge of the latest (seventh) edition of the Style Manual, which is now available digitally.
Our copy editors regularly edit both long-form and short-form copy for our clients, and can simplify your writing and make it more concise, whatever your content or industry. Copyediting projects our freelance editors have worked on include websites, magazine articles, brochures, advertisements, prospectuses, direct mail, reports, newsletters, TV and radio scripts, blog posts, case studies, eDM campaigns, social media posts and more.
What our editing process looks like
If you’d like Catch the Sun Communications to help your company with editing, send us an email explaining your copyediting project. If you’d prefer to speak with us face to face, we can organise a virtual video meeting at a time that suits your time zone, or we can meet you in person if you’re a Canberra-based business. Once we’ve discussed your project needs, we’ll be in touch with any questions, before providing an estimate in your choice of AU$, GB£ or EU€, along with an approximate project timeline.
Once the quote has been approved, we’ve agreed any project requirements, and you’ve sent us your existing copy, we’ll get to work. Copyediting is usually done in Microsoft Word using the ‘Track Changes’ tool so suggested amendments and comments are displayed clearly on the document. We’ll make our suggested edits on a new version of the Word document. When we’ve finished editing your copy, we’ll email a marked-up version back to you, along with an explanation of any issues we think you should be aware of. If you’d prefer your editing to be completed on designed artwork, send us a PDF and we can mark up our suggestions using Adobe Acrobat ‘Annotations’ tools instead. It’s worth noting that this isn’t the optimal format to copyedit in, as our rewriting and revisions may change your copy length, which may force your artwork to be redesigned or reformatted.
As you read through our editing suggestions, we’re always on hand to answer any questions you may have about the revised copy. Once all queries have been addressed, we’ll invoice the job in your chosen currency.