One of the sessions I look forward to at the annual conference of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES) is “Ask the AP Stylebook Editors.” During the session, the editors talk about some of the recent changes to the style. The Associated Press’s stylebook changes frequently, usually to add or clarify entries as they relate to the latest news stories, and staying on top of the changes can be challenging.
One of my clients heads up a new content marketing department at a large company, and he has hired me to copyedit and to keep the style sheet. Because the department is new, all the documents we’ve been working on are now going through an in-house review for branding and legal issues.
It seems, unbeknownst to both my client and me, that the company also has an extensive media style guide, so the copy was reviewed for that as well.
I’m comfortable with that. Tell me what I didn’t know, and I’ll happily absorb those rules into my style sheet and correct for them going forward.
Copyeditors are sometimes asked to do less than a copyedit on a project. We can be asked to proofread a layout instead, whether the manuscript has been copyedited already or not. It’s something we can adapt our skills to when we’re given the right information.
Proofreading comes in after the manuscript has been laid out. Because this is late in the publishing cycle, major changes are frowned upon. Among other things, proofreaders check:
In a previous Tip of the Week, I discussed the importance of file-naming conventions to maintain document version control, outlining the process we use for the Copyediting newsletter. I was reminded last week that version control goes beyond file names, however.