No stage of the proofreading and editorial process should change the style of the work assessed. These actions are applied to technical aspects of the text only; the authorial voice should not be affected in any way.
A proofread is usually undertaken at galley proof stage, before pagination. During a proofread, a proofreader will check all spelling, grammar, punctuation and consistency (e.g. all section headings are in bold type). Proofreading should be viewed as ‘quality control’, rather than an editing phase.
Copy editing ensures that all style elements are followed. If your section headings should be in bold type and particular words spelled a certain way, then these preferences should be included in a Style Manual. The Style Manual, or Style Guide, gives the copy editor specific instructions regarding the layout and particulars of your house style.
Another dimension to copy editing is the assessment of the text’s language – the editor ensures consistency of terminology, capitalisation, usage of acronyms and numerical expressions.
Final editing (books)
Near the end of the editorial process – usually at the paged proof stage – a final edit is undertaken. During this edit all chapter, section and table headings are checked against the contents, indexes, cross-references and links for accuracy and consistency. Page numbering, running heads, preliminary and end-page matter are also all checked and finalised.
Please contact me to discuss quotes, processes and scheduling, or even to just comment or ask a question.