All righty, folks, this is where we get into the nitty-gritty.
The Chicago Manual of Style (aka the Editor’s Bible) is the most commonly used style guide in book publishing. I follow it like a stomach ache after ten fruit pies. The choices I make are not random—I follow a guidebook to make sure your writing is consistent and flawless.
So what does a copyedit do?
Here’s a quick example:
I quickly expressed grattitude which was sincere because I felt such appreciation for those around me, who probably were dismayed at my sudden loss.
I quickly expressed sincere gratitude; I felt such appreciation for those who were dismayed at my sudden loss.
Copyediting CLEARS the writing so your reader HEARS the message. It clears up punctuation, grammar, spelling, and flow. It knocks out extra words, leaving the reader with something smooth and simple.
Copyediting vs. Line Editing
Copyediting and line editing sometimes get confused.
To be precise, line editing is the more artistic side of a sentence-level edit. It addresses voice, flow, and clarity, whereas copyediting is more technical, addressing spelling, grammar, and punctuation. However, I generally combine the two, shaping the sound of the sentence along with its grammar bits.
Copyediting is not meant to be the editor forcing her style on the writer. You come with the writing, I’ll come with the editing, and that’s where the boundaries lie.
The first thing I do for you is a sample edit. The sample looks at your first five pages and addresses sentence structure, grammar, word choice, clarity, etc. The sample is accompanied by a short editorial letter outlining strengths and suggested improvements.
Why the sample edit?
It’s super important. You need to see what my editing is like before you hand me your book (and your money). And I need to see if I’m the editor for you and if so, what level of editing your writing needs, how long that would take, and how much it would cost.
The sample edit is a trial run for both of us. We don’t move forward until we’ve both passed!
Ready to bring out the gold in your book?