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Freelance proofreader: Top tips from the CIEP conference

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Alison Proofreader

Freelance proofreader: Top tips from the CIEP conference

I attended the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading conference as part of my professional development and would like to share my top tips. Throughout this blog, I will share my highlights from the conference.

Freelancers in the publishing industry by Sam Missingham

I found this seminar really interesting and full of up-to-date news about the industry. In particular, the increase in AI and how books were published on Amazon only 8 hours after an event happened. A scary development!


The top tip was to get involved in TikTok to create content and market your business. The examples given by jadechurcheditor of another editor using TikTok well. Unfortunately, the popularity in Instagram is decreasing so editors are finding new ways to market and connect. There is a community of authors and book people on TikTok. Do you fancy creating videos?

Using tools in your editing workflow by Hilary Cadman

A great seminar modelling 4 different editing tools. I already use PerfectIt but was keen to learn about other tools that can improve my workflow. I will give the highlights for each tool.


  • a consistency checker

  • user-friendly with one click to start

  • it runs all kinds of checks on the document which can be customised

  • fixes the changes for you easily

  • can use style sheets

  • saves time

  • improves quality

  • great tech support

  • subscription fee


  • text expander

  • works across programs, e.g., Word, Excel, emails

  • set up your own terms to expand and shortcuts

  • useful example of a shortcut to end your emails with name and business details or a shortcut for your logo or regular text/comments that you use

  • great for phrases that you write over and over again

  • use memorable shortcuts

  • saves time

  • can be used daily

  • improves quality

  • free version to try

Editor's Toolkit Plus

  • macros to speed up your work

  • ribbon of created macros already set up across the top

  • cleans up documents

  • examples of fixing double spaces, double returns and cleaning the file

  • useful feature to count the words in all documents in a folder

  • function keys to change the text to italics/roman, capitals or lowercase quickly

  • use at the start of a job to tidy up the document

  • saves time

  • need to learn the different shortcuts

  • subscription


  • grammar checker

  • style editor

  • writing mentor

  • free version to upload up to 500 words online or a subscription version for a desktop add-in to integrate into different programs

  • customisable

  • summary report with feedback

  • user-friendly

  • improves speed and quality

So the top tip is to try editing tools and have greater efficiency in your workflow. Which one would you like to try?

Copyediting challenge: Learn from other editors by Erin Brenner

world's best boss

A hands-on seminar where we all edited texts and compared our edits to develop different ways to solve problems and build confidence in editors. We learnt that there is no right way to copyedit. Copyediting is a science and an art. Taking away the key point: Your own edits are valuable even if they are different from another editor's.

There is more than one way to edit.

So what is copyediting?

Copyediting consists of checking:

  • spelling

  • grammar

  • punctuation

  • usage

  • sentence structure

  • sentence length

  • paragraph length

  • redundancy

  • awkward construction

  • excessive passive voice

  • excessive wordiness

  • errors in logic

  • problems with tone

After comparing my edits to others', it gave me a new perspective on solving problems. What kind of approach would you take? There is always more than one way to do an edit.

"Behold the turtle: He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out." James Bryant Conant

I am a freelance proofreader and a qualified teacher with a maths degree and a love of learning. Thank you for reading 'Freelance Proofreader: Top tips from the CIEP conference'. Want to find out about the day in the life of a freelance proofreader?

Check out my blog "Freelance proofreader: A day in the life of a freelance proofreader" on my website, or say hello on Twitter at @alisonproofread, or Instagram at @alisonproofreader, or connect via Facebook and LinkedIn.

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