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Do you know the difference between a Proofreader, Editor, and Wordsmith?

Reading time
2 min 2 sec

by M LeMont

I'm going to assume that you don't know the difference, and if you do, then I'll take making an ass of myself. And for the record I don't do that very often.

Well, here's the difference: 

An excellent proofreader has an eye for catching mistakes. They have a passion for it and are natural nick-pickers by heart. Like a cop who pulls over a driver because one number on their license plate was unreadable. 

Julia of Juliaproofreading.com is one of the best proofreaders in the industry. On her website it says,
as a proofreader, she will correct the following:

Spelling errors


Punctuation errors

Grammatical errors

Obviously missing or duplicated words


Misapplied or inconsistent tenses

Wrongly-assigned dependent clauses (dangling modifiers)

@ProofreadJulia also states:

"Editors will perform services such as: suggesting cutting out characters; changing or omitting dialogue; changing the narrative arc of the novel; moving chapters around; various other suggestions that will in their opinion improve the book."

But as you see, there was no mention about a wordsmith.  Most people think that's the job of an editor.  But each person has their expertise, sort of like doctors--specializing in different parts of the human body. 

A wordsmith is a collector of words and knows how to arrange and weave those words into sentences and phrases without interrupting the sound--rhythm, flow, or beat.  One word can make a whole page brilliant!  The right words draw readers into the story and make you stand out from the crowd.

Here's what some readers had to say about the flow and content of my latest book HTG100K .

#1  "Thoroughly enjoyed your book. Got lots of revelations. What is most important is your unique voice that differentiates your book from the rest."

#2 Hi. Patric Mo here from Twitter. Just finished the book. LOVE your definition of an expert! Thanks for publishing the book. It's a Godsend! P

#3  "Hi M, I'm really excited, I've been waiting so long for this type of book.  I own quite a few. The first two chapters you haven't sugar coated anything. And I like that!!"

Brilliant and elegant words can make your book a page turner...the reader has no time to take yawn or a nap.

I once told someone, "Forget about proofreading, forget about editing, I can find people to do that stuff for a dime a dozen. But finding a wordsmith, now that's something special. Now I don't mean any disrespect to proofreaders or editors, so don't get bent out of shape--I'm trying to make a point here, so stick with me, okay?

When you have 128,000 Twitter followers and growing at a rate of 10,000 a month, you meet a lot of people, and opportunities are right in front of you every day. 
Especially, if you have a knack for finding talent and building relationships. 

After publishing my first book, The Point of No Return, an unedited book, of a marriage gone badly. Although it garnered 30 reviews, mostly Five Stars,  I knew I couldn't publish another book without a proofreader. So I found an excellent proofreader/editor for my next several books.

But I wanted more. I kept my eyes open. Then, I got lucky. I started communicating with Andrea on Twitter--who lived in
India. I began to notice how she used words that made the 140-word count "pop" off my computer screen.   They were big words, small words-- tantalizing in casual conversations. But they were arranged like a beautiful symphony or a breathtaking sunset. 

I wanted this girl. Not in a sexual way, mind you---I wanted her as my PA.  No!  I wanted her as my wordsmith. 

I got lucky and found a proofreader, editor, and wordsmith, all in one person. @ElysianFleur

So, much of the credit that I receive for the success of the HTG100K,  I pass on to my lovely and passionate personal assistant  Andrea for her remarkable talent. She is a  29-year-old Rembrandt when it comes to painting words in a book.

Oh, by the way, any typos, errors in this article are all mine--I'll fix them later.  

Let me know if you use a wordsmith or will be using one in the future?  Make your comment on Twitter @misteralesaman.

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