You’ve taken that first step and made the big decision to follow your dreams of being a proofreader or copy editor. So now what? You’re probably wondering what types of content are out there to wet your feet and get yourself started on this wonderful journey in the publishing world. Keep reading to discover the 12 different types of content you can work on.
Blog posts are regularly updated articles on a blog or website that can include visuals, listicles and infographics. The average blog post is just over 1200 words, but can be as long as 2000 or more words.
Many businesses and entrepreneurs use blogs as a fun and affordable way to market a business and create more interest. Blog posts should stand out and capture their readers’ attention. They help establish credibility, and let followers learn more about a company or person and what they offer.
There are many types of manuals that proofreaders and copy editors can work on. There are product manuals, which are guidebooks that tell you how to do something or how to use a specific machine or equipment. There are training manuals written by an organization to help people that are new to a job or activity. These can include policies, procedures and instructions that a worker needs to know to be successful on the job.
Scholarly Books and Journals
Scholarly content is highly specialized and not for the average reader. You may find some graphs, tables or charts, but pages are mostly filled by research-based text. Articles are evaluated and proofread by experts and peers, and published by professional associations, university presses or scholarly publishers.
Textbooks contain facts, history, instructions and practice exercises to test learners on their knowledge of a specific subject. They include a table of contents, index, glossary, headings, diagrams, sidebars, and pictures and captions. The content should be clear, concise, and make an impact on learners, and the readability, presentation, flow and structure of written material is very important to learners.
Print books cover all books that are printed on paper. Proofreaders and copy editors will work on manuscripts of a printed book, which could be in print or digital form. A book project includes working on the body of the book and different sections of the book including the cover page, title page and a table of contents. Printed books are more expensive than digital books, and go through a longer process from the moment they are acquired by a publishing house to when they reach the hands of readers.
Ebooks are digital books that can be the equivalent of a conventional book or can stand alone. With embedded links to other media and the ability to highlight paragraphs and look up words, ebooks can provide an engaging and interactive experience for readers.
They are immediately accessible and easily portable, have no shipping costs, can quickly be updated, and best of all, are environmentally friendly! It’s easy to understand why they’ve become so popular. With the global pandemic, Neilson Book and major publishers around the world have reported a massive spike in the popularity of ebooks, with people reading almost twice as much as they did before the pandemic.
Coffee Table Books
A quick scroll through Instagram for interior design inspo will quickly confirm just how popular these oversize illustrative books have become. Between candles and lovely floral arrangements, coffee table books have become a big part of chic home decor.
But these expensive, primarily non-fiction photo books aren’t solely for display. They are great conversation starters, and provide insights into their owner’s interests! Coffee table books provide readers with a compilation of information in a simpler, more digestible manner, filled with photographs and illustrations.
Product labels are the informational, written part of a product that has been packaged. It identifies a product, provides information on its contents and communicates the value of the product to the customers.
Any business that sells something needs product labels, and they do much more than identify a product! They can provide instructions, company information, ingredients, details on where the product was created, and can promote the brand.
A white paper is a technical, in-depth report about a specific topic, the problems surrounding it and possible solutions. They are a powerful and informative tool to educate and inspire readers to take action based on the facts and research presented.
With the growth of content marketing, businesses are relying more on white papers to showcase their expertise in a specific area, and to be an authoritative voice consumers can trust. White papers rely on typography that is pleasing to the eye and creative ways to present visual data such as charts, illustrations, graphs and tables.
Communication or Ancillary Materials
Ancillary and communication materials cover a wide range of content. They help support a company’s media or marketing campaign. Some of the types of content used to promote a company, its products or its events include press releases, media kits, catalogues, newsletters, magazines, brochures, public service announcements and websites.
Trade publications include journals, newsletters and magazines that are created and written for a group of professionals in, or have an interest in, a specific industry or trade. The goal of these publications is to share relevant news, industry trends, and info on products and best practices. The content is specialized and geared specifically to their target audience, and writers are experts in this subject or are professionals in the field.
Magazines, blogs and newspapers that entertain and inform the general public fall under this category. Consumer publications are published to inform but also to make a profit. They cover pop culture and current events, and aren’t necessarily geared towards one specific group or audience.
Proofreaders and fact checkers approve the content before publication, which is especially important with consumer publications as writers aren’t always experts in the topic that they are writing about. Some examples of a consumer publication are Vogue and Dwell Magazine.
These are only a few of the many types of content you can work on in your career as a proofreader and copy editor. Innovative ways to reach consumers, the public and readers are always needed and essential to businesses and publishers alike. This means more great material for you to read and work on!
About The Author
Elizabeth Goncalves is an educational assistant, inclusion support worker, and a freelance proofreader and copy editor with fifteen years experience in publishing. She worked as a proofreader, web copy editor and production coordinator during her 10 years at Harlequin, and has worked for First Reference Inc. and Sentor Media as a writer and editor. She also currently works as an editorial assistant at Edit Republic.