How to work with a copy editor

by admin on February 3, 2011

Having a copyeditor evaluate your manuscript cost you money, so it’s worth bearing in mind some simple ways in which you can be sure to get the best value for your cash. First, be specific as to how you might like your manuscript edited, so that the editor will not make significant adjustments which you do not want, and bill you for these when completing your manuscript. The following are a few suitable strategies to follow when working with your copyeditor.

Copyeditors have a great deal of hands-on expertise with editing and modifying documents which greatly benefit you by improving your final item. Nonetheless, if you fail to specify the style or, for example, the tense or person (first or third?) needed, the editing may also negatively impact your manuscript.

The initial recommendation, then, is to give your editor clear guidelines. Specify the style you want, even if it’s simply American or British English, and also the format your institution requires. As an example, if you are having work done on a thesis, provide the editor with the institutional and advisor’s requirements. If you are working with a publisher and submitting a manuscript, ask that the publisher’s in-house guidelines be met. Normally, there’s a site providing those guidelines; you could make sure your editor has access to that URL.

If it’s a technical or academic paper, you might like to add a glossary of terms (plural and singular), or formulae or unique symbols, so the copyeditor can add these into the manuscript where needed. I also highly advise the inclusion of a sample paper or examples of commonly used phrases in order for the editor to see how terms are utilized. Also, let the editor know if there are specific passages or phrases you would rather they not alter.

In the event that you are submitting a short story or novel, be specific about when dialogue or characterization might be altered, and to what extent the story may be altered. If your characters are supposed to speak ungrammatically, let the editor know! Also, specify the preferred narrative tense and person favored.

If you are submitting a piece of fantasy or science fiction, or which uses unknown or made-up phrases, offer these in a glossary. Your copyeditor may possibly not be able to discern when you are creating a play on words or have produced an utterance or word yourself, and when it may need correction. A glossary might also assist the editor in checking the consistency of invented spellings or symbols.

Encourage your editor to contact you if she or he has questions. This will help resolve issues speedily and thus ensure they have time to focus on other challenges in their manuscript.

There are other ways to determine if your copyeditor will be the best person for your own personal needs. Ask for an editor with specific expertise in your field. Also, pick an editing firm that provides free editing samples, so it is possible to assess their work and see how they would change your whole document. Also, check to see if the editing firm makes it possible for you to give distinct instructions, and offers a re-edit if there are errors within the completed edit. FirstEditing.com supplies these services, and is a great example of a business that meets all of th requirements listed above.

Search for a copyeditor who’s open to receiving detailed directions on the editing of your manuscript. Also, provide the editor with as much info as you might be ready to about the subject, specific terminology and the style required. Having a good relationship and communicating properly with your copyeditor is essential, and can substantially enhance the quality of the editing.

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  1. Teamwork is key to successful basic copy editing

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