STARTING POINT: Words count!
Many authors don’t fully grasp the difference between a line edit and a copyedit. There are some similarities between the two: both pay detailed attention to your use of language, and involve mark-up on the pages of your promotional copy. But make no mistake, these are two completely different processes, handled by professionals with different skill sets, and should occur at very different times during the writing and production process.
What's a Line Edit?
A line edit addresses the creative content, writing style, and language use at the sentence and paragraph level. But the purpose of a line edit is not to comb your Ad, Poster, Brochure, Catalogue, or Website for errors – rather, a line edit focuses on the way you use language and your spelling (Canadian English or French, American English, or UK English) to communicate your products, services, or overall story to the potential buyer.
Is your language clear and enticing to read?
Does it convey a sense of atmosphere, emotion, and tone? Do the words you’ve chosen convey a precise meaning, or are you using broad generalizations and clichés that, in the end, really do not sell your product or service?
An editor may draw your attention to:
The purpose of working with a general editor in this way is not just to improve your current promotional copy, but to differentiate, through the use of language (English or French), your product or service from the competition.
There will be some overlap between the work of a general editor and a copyeditor. Most developmental editors will point out technical errors or logical inconsistencies when they jump out, because they’re trying to make your writing better, and because editors tend to be perfectionists by disposition. But it is not the specific purpose of a line edit to comb through your prose, fix your grammar, typos, capitalize proper nouns, or change all spellings of color to colour because we’re in Canada, not the United States.
This is the job of a copyeditor, and it requires a rule-based understanding of standard Canadian, British, or American English usage that traditional editors don’t have. As such, your copyedit will come with a “style sheet” that explains how these rules and principals apply to specific things in your promotional Ad copy. So while your general editor will probably not have The Canadian Style: A Guide to Writing and Editing or the Chicago Manual of Style committed to memory, your copyeditor might.
There is one other reason that line editing and copyediting aren’t the same job: copyediting should always come after line edit, never at the same time or before. The page-by-page, sentence-by-sentence content of your promotional copy should be completely finalized before being fine-tuned on the level of a copyedit. Because what is the point of spending time (and money) proofreading portions of an early draft that might be significantly altered, or even completely cut, by the time the final draft rolls around?
At an agency, a Copyeditor is usually the last person who touches the text of a promtional Ad copy before it goes into production – after final sign-off on your promotional copy.
The job of a general editor is to help you tell a better story, to sell your product or service through words.
The job of a Copyeditor is to make sure the grammar is correct.
Promotional copy, that describes your product or service, regardless of industry, is writen and edited, before the design process.
A final edit of the promotional piece, (Ad, brochure, catalogue, or website) and obtaining a signature is required prior to going to press or launching a website.
Working with our network of professional writers and editors, Evolving Media can provide you with a full suite of editorial services. These include everything from writing to final copy editing. As with our design work, Evolving Media provides you with the tools that you need to develop your business or complete your project.
The professional services we provide for content creation are offered at competitive prices, calculated on a project-by-project basis.