Quick: What’s the difference between “editing” and “proofreading”?
This is a question I see a lot of indie authors and book publishers alike asking: How can you find a good editor?
Hyphens are probably one of an editor’s most notorious nemeses. It can be straight-up confusing to use them. (Fun fact: I once knew an editor who was a complete stickler for proper hyphen usage. It was her editorial nitpick.)
If editors don’t know how and when to use hyphens half the time, what chance do the rest of us have? It turns out that hyphenation, as convoluted and confusing as it can be, does have a few straight-forward rules you can follow.
I saw a reader complain recently about publisher-backed books still sucking. The sticking point seemed to be the price—the publisher was charging $6.99 for the eBook and taking a cut of the profit. And yet, the reader lamented, the editing was less than stellar; in fact, she wondered if it had even been edited.
You knew this was going to come up sooner or later. This is a term I see tossed around all the time, by people who should probably know better. As a professional editor and proofreader myself, it really ticks me off when people use the term proofreading as a catch-all for editing.
One of the things I’ve heard is that using gerunds is indicative of poor writing. Writers, it’s argued, should avoid using this verb form. So, I decided to test this out. Let’s look at a passage from Bad Spirits.