Once you’ve chosen your copyeditor, you’ll have a quote and a timeline. You either pay a deposit or the whole amount, depending on what the cost is. This can range anywhere from .01 to .02/word or from around $50 to $75/hour depending on the level of experience of the copyeditor and the complexity of the editing needed. So a 100-page or 30,000 word book might cost between $300 to $600.
Your editor should set up a timeline with you that meets any commitments you have. For example, if one of my clients has a conference or speaking engagement and needs a book in hand by September 1, I would want the editing completed by July 15 to allow enough time for formatting, design, and printing.
Copyeditors work on an individualized basis with each client.
Generally, you submit your book, ebook, article, brochure—whatever you need edited—to your copyeditor as an attached file. Some editors edit by hand, if the client requests that, but it’s not as effective as electronic editing.
Most editors use the “track changes” tool in Word to make visible edits on your document. This way you can see what’s been added and deleted as well as the editor’s comments. You can then learn from the edits and improve your future writing. You can also mouse over the edits and accept or reject them if you agree or disagree. Ultimately, you the author, make the final decisions.
The editor must work to preserve the tone and style of your writing, so this is a skill that takes practice. However, the copyeditor will make suggestions to improve any aspect of the writing including format, voice, etc.
Be open to your editor’s comments and edits and discuss any concerns you have. Ultimately, you want your ideal copyeditor as part of your team.
P.S. For a limited time, I’m offering my special report, “The WritersWay to Finding the Ideal Copyeditor” for 50% off the regular price of $10. Through August 15, you can purchase it for only $5 and find out all you need to know to select the ideal copyeditor for your team. Here’s the link to buy the report: http://bit.ly/oJp16N
There’s no one-size-fits-all editing, so your specific needs must be taken into consideration when selecting a copyeditor.
As a seasoned writer you might need less help than a newbie, such as a general critique, line editing, and some light polishing. If you’re a first time or unpublished writer, you may require a significant amount of hand-holding, help in organization and development, as well as line editing for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
So first get clear on your needs, and then start the search for your ideal copyeditor.
Just as you would look for a doctor, hair stylist, or car mechanic, start out asking for referrals. You may not have the same taste as your friends or business colleagues, but referrals are the best place to start. Next conduct some research online as well as looking in books to see who the author used for editing. You can also go to bid sites like www.directfreelance.com where copyeditors post profiles. Also check your connections through www.LinkedIn.com, www.Facebook.com, and other social networking sites. I’m often found in professional association directories like www.SDPen.com and www.PublishersWriters.org, so look at those sites.
Interview three top candidates, have them do a sample edit on the same document, and get a bid. From there, make your decision and move forward. Always keep your communications clear, ask questions when you don’t understand something, and do your best to create a successful partnership.
P.S. Also check testimonials and get references. I’m happy to supply references of my past satisfied clients to anyone who’s considering hiring me.
When you’ve written something—a book, ebook, report, article, blog, ezine—anything that other people will read, you want it to look professional. Otherwise you won’t be taken seriously. The only way to do that is to have another pair of eyes review it. You could have a friend or family member look at it, but they might not be expert enough to know how to fix common and uncommon problems. And they may not give you honest feedback. So, that’s what a professional copyeditor does.
If you look in the acknowledgment section of most books, you’ll see the author thanking their editor/copyeditor and/or proofreader. When you’re finished writing whatever you’ve written and you’re ready to submit it to a publisher, agent, or printer, or send it to your mailing list, or post it on you website, you MUST have it proofread or copyedited.
Referrals and repeat business are the heart of most business owners’ marketing. So if you want others to rave about your books or articles and tell others, you need to have all your writing be the best it can be. And if you want readers to buy your next book or ebook, you want your products to be squeaky clean.
Also, you can easily damage your credibility as a professional with a book or article filled with errors. You might be an expert in your field, but if your book has errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. readers will have concerns about you and your skills.
So that’s why you need a professional copyeditor. Find out how to choose the best copyeditor in my next installment.
P.S. If you want to discuss your copyediting needs, I’m happy to set up a complimentary 20-minute consultation. Just sign up at www.writersway.com/contact and we’ll schedule it.
Editors, copyeditors, and proofreaders all work with written materials to make them the best they can be. The terms editor and copyeditor are synonymous, although “editor” can also mean a book editor who works at a publishing company and shepherds an author’s book through initial stages all the way to publication.
What copyeditors do is work from the most complex level to the simplest, which I’ll explain shortly. Proofreaders are usually the last person to see the book, ebook, or report before it goes to print and mostly looks for typographical errors.
I’ll use the term “copyeditor” from here on because that covers the full spectrum of print editing. Let’s start at the simplest level first.
A simple or light edit covers spelling, punctuation, grammar, word usage, repetition, consistency in capitalization, numbers, abbreviations, contractions, style, and format. At this level, someone who excelled in English can help writers who weren’t top English students.
A medium to heavy (or substantive) edit includes everything in a light edit as well as fact checking, permissions, minor rewrites for passive writing and better clarity, flow, jargon, sexism, and more. This level requires a lot of experience in both seeing the detail and the big picture of the book or report, etc.
A developmental editor often gets involved at the beginning of the project to work with the author on creating the book, ebook, article, etc. so it starts off and continues to a satisfying conclusion. The developmental editor becomes the author’s partner in building a successful product.
Which type of editor do you think you need?
Find out in my next installment.
P.S. Just a quick reminder that I offer a variety of coaching options if you need some support in getting started or completing your book or ebook. Check them out at www.writersway.com/services.
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