Monday, January 29, 2007

Work speed

In Chapter 4, page 37, the book says, “On average, an experienced copyeditor can edit about five pages of double-spaced text an hour.” As Pat also mentioned in class, this speed is the case for a full-fledged copyeditor. Then what is the work speed that a beginning copyeditor should aim for? Is there a standard speed that the copyediting profession demands or expects of a beginning copyeditor?


LilyLuvsU said...

I'm doing proofreading for a court reporter at 30 cents a page, and she told me that I should be going through 40 to 50 pages an hour. Although this is very light proofreading, I hope this gives you a bit of perspective of the field.

Pat said...

Anyone who can proofread 40 to 50 pages an hour and do it well has my utmost respect.

Copyeditors have to look for more things, and therefore, they take longer. I once took a copyediting test for a major publisher and spent nearly an hour on each page of a twelve-page manuscript. I was ashamed to admit how long I took, but I was required to state the time. As it turned out, I was accepted as a freelancer. This was about fifteen years ago.

At the end of the class, you should be able to copyedit three pages an hour unless you have a relatively well-written piece; it's possible, if the copyediting required is light, to double that speed. A badly written or organized manuscript can require you to spend up to half an hour on each page.