Proofreading children’s non-fiction

Congratulations to my client, Adé, whose children’s book has just been published. My involvement was in proofreading the text. We also had some discussion about the appropriate terms and language to use when writing for children.

A career guide for children

Adé has three children who wanted to know about what jobs people do and the world of work. Like many good parents, he wanted to provide guidance when it came to careers choices. He looked for a book that would help but he didn’t find one, so he decided to write his own. Next, he researched a variety of jobs that children might consider as future careers. Adé then wrote a description of what someone would do each day at work, if they did that job. He added sections about the soft skills, aptitudes and experience someone might need in order to get a job in each profession. He wrote a further section that describes the level of qualification and the subjects the children might need to study. The result is a well-thought-out and helpful little book, which is well organised and indexed.

How I add value

This is an example of a project where I employed my proofreading skills but added value by recalling my teaching experience. This project is one of several I’ve undertaken recently where the author’s first language isn’t English – though Adé speaks and writes fluently. Sometimes proofreading jobs turn into something more! I speak a little bit of a few languages and that helped us to explore the possibilities, even though I don’t speak Adé’s first language. We had a bit of discussion about the appropriate expressions and terms for some situations, which was quite fascinating for us both.

Choosing the right language

In addition, we made sure that we used language that is age-appropriate for the target readership of late-primary/early-secondary aged children. We also had to take into account the range of reading ability of the children likely to read the book. I was able to draw on my English-teaching specialism to advise Adé. The book is structured, with a well-organised layout, which will also help enormously.

Congratulations on publication!

This project demonstrates that a proofreading job may call on many aspects of an editor’s experience. I particularly enjoyed helping to create a non-fiction book for children that will be both entertaining and useful as they consider their future careers. The postman recently brought me a copy of the book and I must say it looks great. Congratulations again, Adé, and I hope the book does very well.

Let’s talk about jobs; a career guide  is available from Amazon.

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