Editing, Explained


      Everyone needs an editor. But what kind of editor? Many first-time or self-published authors acknowledge the value of editing, but remain confused about the nature of editing. Online, it’s an unorganized world. Posters mix up proofreading, editing, and copy editing with abandon. This post will outline the most popular forms of editing to help you choose the right type of editor for your work.


     Proofreading is the most basic form of editing. It’s debatable that proofreading even is a form of editing.

     Proofreading comes from the term “galley proof” (sometimes just called “proof”). Proofreaders read proofs. Easy enough.

      Historically, galley proofs have been one of the last steps in the publishing process. Proofreaders would check galley proofs against the previous version of the text in order to catch any errors introduced in the publishing process. Proofreaders concerned themselves solely with basic errors such as incorrect punctuation, misspellings, random capitalization, and, more recently, blocks of garbled text introduced by computer error (“</P > < P>&nbsp;< /P> <P >”, anyone?).

     With the dawn of word processors, self-publishing, ebooks, and independent authors, proofreading has come to take on a different meaning. For self-publishers, it’s uncommon to perform traditional proofreading with multiple copies of the same document. Now, when people talk informally about proofreading, they usually mean the process of checking a single text file for basic technical errors. A proofreader will change “suPine” to “supine”, but a proofreader will not replace “supine” if you really mean “prone”. That falls under the category of…



Coming Soon: Something Big

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This week, PopularSoda is blogging, tweeting, pinning, and posting from New Orleans! We’re here for ACES 2012, the 16th national conference for the American Copy Editors Society. It’s our first conference, and it could not be any better. We attended some great sessions, ate crawfish sushi, checked out the sponsors, ate more crawfish, and met some friendly and fantastic copy editors (while also eating crawfish).

But let’s go back to the title of this post: something big is coming soon from PopularSoda! Here’s a hint: those soda bottle pictures are not just decoration. We’ve already spoken to certain copy editors at the conference regarding the plans for those pictures. That’s two hints for the price of one! Though we can’t (or won’t) say any more about the soda bottle // copy editor connection right now, make sure to subscribe so you’ll be among the first to know when we blow the lid off the bottles.

Blue PopularSoda bottle with yellow border