Editing and proofreading is not just about printed matter/publications, it also involves working with other technology such as:
A website, where you would proof the pages on-screen and either email, fax or post back the corrections.
A PDF document, where you would proof the document on-screen and email back the corrections.
A Word, RTF or other soft document created in a word processor, where you would edit the document using “Track Changes” and email it back to the client.
An editor/proofreader must understand the processes of doing their work using technology. However, it is up to the individual if these services are offered. Of course, the more flexible you are, the better for you.
How Much to Charge
To start with you would probably charge about $20 – $25 per hour, but this will increase to $25 – $35 per hour as you gain experience. This is the same amount you would charge to edit/proofread hard copies.
Remember, proofreading attracts a lower fee – $20 – $25 per hour. Copyediting is around $25 – $35 per hour. And substantive editing is $40 upwards.
Keep in mind also that you will probably have to print out the soft document as it is usually easier to work with.
It is always helpful to know the jargon when using technology. Here is a short list of meanings:
These days it is not uncommon to see “e” in front of words (for example, email, e-zine, e-commerce, ebooks). The “e” means electronic.
“Uploading files” means sending files.
“Downloading files” means receiving files.
“PDF” means portable document format.
“RTF” means rich text format.
“Log in” means to access an account (and is two words).
When editing/proofreading, it is important to remember the following:
Internet should always be spelt with a capital “I” as it is a proper noun.
World Wide Web should always be capitalised too, for the same reason.
Web, when referring to the Internet, should be capitalised as it is the formal abbreviation of a proper noun.
Email can be hyphenated (e-mail) or can be written without the hyphen (email), but all other “e” words should be written with the hyphen, unless house-style dictates otherwise.
Using Spelling and Grammar Checkers
It is dicey to use spell checkers included in word processors as they are unreliable.
Use them only if you have the right one installed for your location (ie it is no use using a US spell checker if you are in Australia), and you only use it to pick up everyday typos at a glance. Do not depend on them and always edit your own work for errors.
Remember, these checkers are often wrong!