Difference Between Copyediting and Proofreading

copyediting and proofreading

In the Book Publishing Industry, Copyediting and Proofreading both together arise closer to the end of the editing procedure. After all, these terms are complex to specify. And to perplex the issue more, most of the editors offer a mix of both. But there is a difference between copyediting and proofreading, so let’s check out what makes copyediting and proofreading distinctive. Everyone wants to know about what comes first, copyediting or proofreading. The answer of this question is shortly defined as all types of editing come before proofreading.

If you proofread your manuscript first and then send it to the copy editor and then the editor makes some changes and leaves any error in the manuscript. Then it will become a problem for you after the publication process. For such apparent reasons, copyediting should be the first step and proofreading should be the last when the document is ready to be published.

A job of copy editor is to assist an author select the right and appropriate words in their content and a job of proofreader is to ensure nothing other than technical errors in spelling diverts the attention of the reader.

Take for granted, you are a writer who has drafted a document, and you instantly continue to conclude it and convert it into a Published Book. you have picked out two procedures crucial for you i.e.  copyediting and proofreading. And at this moment, you understand that you require your document to view a copy editor first.

What does Copyediting mean?

Copyediting is the editing process that involves modifications and correction in grammar, punctuation, spelling and pattern of a manuscript. This process emphasizes on the small errors in the written piece and can also be a comprehensive activity inducing the prospect for some books. Most people think that copyediting and editing are the same things, but actually they are two different things. The process of editing consists of developmental editing, structural editing and line editing whereas copyediting is one part of the editing process. There may be few equivalence in the certain operation included in each of those kinds of editing, but the access with which the editors deal with a manuscript is what separates among the editing types.

What does a copy editor do?

Adverse to a famous optimism, a copy editor is not an adored spell checker. A copy editor is the person who is your partner in publication. Copying services rely upon how much you have paid out on the editor and what kind of definite book editing services you have asked from them, what type of matter they are referring to be editing, how much quantity of study it will take and how many characters of words in the text.

Let’s take an extensive review at what type of services are provided by book editors or copy editors.

A copyeditor:

a) Examine and correct glitches in spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax.

b) Analyzes technical regularity in spelling, capitalization, typeface management, numerals and hyphenations etc.

c) Check out all the persistence mistakes and demonstrate that the whole manuscript is completely checked.

d) Study for accurately improper statements i.e. the copy editor must look over whether the facts in your documents are authentic or not.

e) Find out that your manuscript does not misrepresent others.

f) Research for unreliability within the story. It includes details of characters, scenarios and setting.

g) Check out that each and every character in the story remains true in its own description.

To cut the story short, the job of copy editor is not only to check out spelling and grammar mistakes. Their job is to make sure that every single component of your manuscript is appropriate, persistent and perfect.

It is not sufficient for a copyeditor to have a marvelous command on language or the art to improve spelling and grammar mistakes. A good copy editor also needs to have the following skills.

a) Information about editorial style formats.

b) Superintendence skills.

c) Conceptualizing and deliberating skills.

d) Interpersonal skills.

e) Innovative and inquisitive mind.

f) Organization and time management skills.

What is Proof Reading?

Proofreading is the process of scrutinizing the final draft of the manuscript, after the process of editing, to make certain that there are utterly no errors. It is also the finishing line of a quality assurance in the editing process. Proof readers can not do the job of copy editors because they can not edit a document like a copy editor does. They just ensure that there are no inaccuracies in grammar, spelling, punctuations and formatting left in the manuscript before it is wrapped up for publishing. The process of proofreading does not contain re-writing or changing the pattern in which the manuscript has been drafted. As a consequence this action is frequently performed after the process of copyediting.

Every Book writer needs a Professional proofreader for their book because a writer only concentrates on the topic of their book or Book Writing. They can not edit their content by stopping at each sentence to correct it, due to the reason that it is time consuming for the writer. Proofreading essentially concentrates on confirming that nothing has been left by the copy editor.

Why do you need a Professional Proofreader?

A proofreader is the fairy-godmother for the writers because they protect them from humiliation and awkwardness after the publishing of a book. Professional proofreaders are someone who catches the mistakes of a copy editor. Some copy editors also offer the proofreading services, but it is usually most excellent to get a fresh perspective for that task. If a copyeditor ignores an inaccuracy the first time, there is a possibility that they will also miss it throughout the proofreading. here are some services which are provided by proofreaders to authors

a) A proofreader generally reads the copy of the manuscript for inspecting stability and lay out of the knowledge but they are not completely answerable for overall correctness and consistency of vocabulary in the document.

b) They also check out the book for an inexact number of pages, disarranged text and invalid spacing.

c) Correction of defective index and paragraphing is also a part of the proofreading process.

d) A proofreader is generally assigned with the task of analyzing reproduction as to what the ultimate documented text has the appearance.

e) Hiring a Professional Proofreader is also beneficial for you if English is not your first language because a proofreader will be searching for language errors and formatting mistakes, punctuation and spelling errors and all the smaller things that have skipped through preceding steps of editing.

The proofreader does not check out your content deeply. They also do not rephrase or convert single sentences or paragraphs. Rather, they verify the copy editor and author did not miss anything.

Once you have completed the proofreading process of your book, you are almost ready to share it with the world.


Copyediting and Proofreading are two distinctive editing professions with the same objectives. One is in the entrust of style consistency, although the other makes sure the document is free from technical deviations. Copying and proofreading both are important steps, although these editing processes are not making any structural changes to your content. Without consulting professional copy editors and proofreaders, your potential readers will spot your general mistakes.

How much time does copy editing take?

The duration of time depends on the length of the document and the experience of the copy editor.

Does an author need a proofreader even after editing?

Proofreading is always necessary for an author because a proofreader checks whether the copyeditor leaves any error in your document.


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