There are always cases in which a two-stage proofreading would be appropriate. By no means all clients, however, it is clear how much they would bring such a review in two stages. Therefore today a few informations!
With every normal proofreading, my editors read your text twice very carefully. Between the two correction runs (not to be confused with the two correction levels, which I will soon discuss), they let the text lie, from a few days to two weeks, depending on your time budget. If you are in a hurry, sometimes a few hours may be enough. Anyway, a text has to be a little bit out of place after the first correction, because that is good for the quality – and that counts for us.
We only do a third proofreading if there are a lot of mistakes in the text and / or if it is for example fiction and we may intervene in the plot or if for other reasons an above-average number of comments are generated.
Once the editing is done, the text goes back to you and you continue to work with the edited file.
Once we have done the editing in Word, you get two files from us: In one you can see all the corrections, in the other the corrections are already incorporated resp. Accepted by Word and you only see the comment bubbles with hints from the editor. Commentaries put the editors in almost every text, because there is always something to note – this may, for example, individual spellings, but of course also content-related aspects. Here, as author, you have to think again, decide something, complement something or even rewrite it against the background of your (special) knowledge.
If we have done the editing in the PDF – usually only in corporate texts -, you are particularly challenged: unlike in Word you have here namely all corrections individually incorporated into your file. Mostly this happens in the graphics program (for example InDesign) and most of the work is done by the graphic artist, not the author.
In both cases, both when we copy a Word file and when we proofread a PDF, new mistakes may occur as the text is finalized: corrections may be overlooked, for example, or not accurately incorporated. Especially if the text changes content, so something new must be added, of course, come up with new mistakes. If we then do not get to see the file again, do not give error-free text from the hand or in the print.
At this point, the two-step proofing comes into play.
In a two-step proofreading, we will get the text back from you once you have incorporated everything. In the second stage, we take a close look at how you proceeded with the corrections. Did you incorporate everything correctly? Are there any mistakes in the passages that you have reworded or in completely new passages?
So we do another check. Also on this second level we read the text twice again. Our corrections are now only visible if you specifically wish.
When does a two-stage review process pay off?
A two-stage review pays off when
Your text had a lot of bugs.
You rewrite or rewrite parts of the text after the editing.
You want to play it safe that you will actually deliver a flawless text at the end.
In a two-step proofreading we can make corrections both in Word or in PDF. If it is a text to be printed and if it contains a relatively large number of errors, we recommend a combination of Word and PDF correction.
That means we do the first correction step in Word and the second one in PDF. Then we can first intervene in Word in full in the text, because he is not yet set. We can divide too long sentences, rephrase or supplement passages without the corrections altering the change. In the second correction stage then the fine grinding takes place. Incidentally, this also includes information on layout and typography, if you wish. We have a good eye for subtleties also in this field.
A two-step proofreading is often a sensible thing, but of course it costs more. Incidentally, my own book about Baroque master builder Jakob Prandtauer (1660-1726), of course, relies on two-stage proofreading. First, the 900 manuscript pages were edited once in Word, the second correction step is then done in print-ready PDF. Quality is important to me, especially since my text is also my business card.