Questions which will precede any job

These are questions which I will ask prospective clients before taking a job; their purpose is to discern the nature and complexity of the job so that I can perform the job correctly.

Questions which are italicised pertain particularly to jobs where the client is a publishing company.

  1. What is the word count? Will a sample of the work be available?
  2. What does the job involve? Is it to exceed the remit of a strict proofread?
  3. When will the project file be available for me to begin working on it? What is the deadline?
  4. Has the job been through any other editorial processes before reaching me? If so, which processes have been applied?
  5. Is the proof to be read against copy or read ‘blind’?
  6. How is the proof to be marked? (on paper using the BSI proofreading symbols (post-2005 revision) or in Word with the ‘track changes’ function)
    1. If the proof is to be read on paper, should the marking use a red/blue colour code to distinguish between editorial and non-editorial errors, or should only one colour be used?
      1. If one colour is to be used, should a percentage breakdown of what would have been red/blue errors be provided?
  7. (If proofs are to be on paper) How are the proofs to be returned to the client (by post or by courier)? The likely cost of this will be included on the invoice.
  8. Will returned paper proofs be scanned? (This will influence which colours I use to mark them; some colours may not be picked up easily by the scanner used.)
  9. Should I correct every error I find, or only the most egregious errors?
  10. How should queries be presented?
  11. Will I be able to have a copy of the copy-editor’s style sheet, design specification and/or the house style sheet? (This will enable me to make better judgements as to what is an error and what is not.)
    1. Are there any matters of style, or other matters agreed between the author and the editor, which may not appear on the copy-editor’s style sheet but which I should know about in order to carry out the job correctly?
  12. Have the copy-editor and/or author instructed any global changes to be carried out?
  13. How has the proof been produced? Has it been produced by scanning, printing from a copy-edited e-file, rekeying of the document by the typesetter, or keying into the author’s e-file changes made on copy-edited hard copy?
  14. To what extent should labels or captions in diagrams be stylistically consistent with the main text?

One thought on “Questions which will precede any job

  1. Pingback: Susan Albinson ~

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