Copy-editor Job Description

Copy-editors And Proofreaders Ensure That Material Is Clear And consistent, Complete And Credible, And That Text Is well Written, Grammatically Correct And Accessible. They Work On A Range Of Publications, Including Books, Journals, Newspapers, Websites And Other Electronic resources.

They May Be Required To Correct Spelling, grammar And Layout (proofreading) Or Check Content, Impose consist Styles And Reword Or Rewrite (copy-editing). This Depends On The Project, The Employer/client And Their Own Specialist Experience. Many Copy-editors/proofreaders Perform Both Functions In Tandem.

They're Employed By Publishers, Businesses And Public Bodies But Increasingly on A Freelance Basis, So It's common For Them To Have Several Clients at The Same Time. Many People Retrain For Editorial Work As A Second Or Third Career.

Copy-editor Duties/Functions/Responsibilities

  • resolving queries directly with the author, e.g. style and text inconsistencies;
  • correcting spelling mistakes and grammatical errors;
  • preparing preliminary pages for the title, contents and preface of a publication;
  • overseeing the work of indexers, typesetters and designers;
  • (increasingly for freelancers) typesetting and designing layout;
  • ensuring that publications are prepared on budget and to schedule;
  • (for those who are self-employed) managing marketing and business activities.
  • coding manuscripts for design features, such as hierarchy of headings, to instruct the production team;
  • creating artwork briefs to detail the content of illustrations;
  • ensuring that illustrations are correctly captioned and referred to in the text;
  • working with IT-based publishing systems and databases, as well as via the internet, CD-ROMs or from paper manuscripts;
  • liaising regularly with authors and publishers by phone and email;
  • checking that authors have provided all the required materials and paperwork;
  • producing or working to a style checklist to ensure consistency in hyphenation, capitalisation, formatting of references, etc;
  • sub-editing text written by a number of authors to ensure consistent house style;
  • maintaining awareness of new words or phrases coming into popular usage with a view to ensuring they're appropriate for the readership;
  • discussing and resolving any potentially libellous sections with the commissioning editor and author;
  • retrieving articles from archives and rearranging within publications;

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