In the publishing world, a large group of professionals works backstage performing a multitude of tasks with a common goal: improving the text. Among those professionals are editors and proofreaders, intent on ensuring the quality of the language and the effectiveness of a written communication.
The new Spanish Editors Association (SEA) was founded to provide a forum for editors and proofreaders of Spanish texts in the United States, where more than 40 million Spanish speakers live. Collaboration between authors, editors and proofreaders should make a better text possible.
In this new joint venture, one of our first steps is to define the tasks performed by editors and proofreaders. To that end, we are now publishing our Principles for Text Editing and Proofreading.
This document, written primarily for our members, provides an overview of the knowledge, skills, and tasks essential to editing and proofreading text for publication. Basically, the work of editors and proofreaders involves the careful and methodical assessment of texts in order to make changes that will not only ensure content accuracy but also improve form and style.
We have divided the types of editing and proofreading services into: substantive editing, copy‑editing, proofreading, and comparative editing. We include comparative editing (ensuring that a translation conveys accurately the content and meaning of the source text) in a separate section since, in the United States, Spanish texts are frequently translations from English.
Of course, in practice, the various types of editing and proofreading tasks overlap, and their scope varies from one document to another or from one project to another. The way forward depends on factors such as the initial quality of the text, the requested quality of the finished product, the practices established within the team, the production methods and tools, and the assigned budgets.
In today’s world, written documents of all kinds continue to proliferate. It is, therefore, essential to engage the help of editing and proofreading professionals in order to ensure the quality and effectiveness of a communication.
We invite you to join our mission: SEA!
And we note that, in Spanish, “SEA!” means “Let it be!”