View Full Version : Copyeditors had my back!

Claudia Gray
07-13-2007, 07:29 AM
Or, should we say, saved my ass.

I mean, I think of myself as a careful writer. I research. I edit. I edit again. I get friends to look over my stuff, and they have good, critical eyes.

But when Evernight came back from copyediting, there were at least 20 places where I had just gotten something dead wrong.

I guess it just goes to show me not to get too complacent -- and to remind me to write a very nice thank-you letter when I send the manuscript back!

Anybody else had this happen?

Calla Lily
07-13-2007, 03:40 PM
This copyeditor thanks you for the compliment to our species. :D

07-13-2007, 05:56 PM
A good copyeditor can be a lifesaver. They mostly toil anonymously, so a thank you letter acknowledging their work wouldn’t hurt.

(I did once have a bad copyeditor, though. I had to make a STET stamp.)

Will Lavender
07-13-2007, 06:57 PM
My copyeditor helped me out a ton as well.

A bit off-thread: My editor forwarded me an e-mail the other day where a sales rep said he loved the book, but there was a bit of basketball history I mentioned that was inaccurate.

Which is interesting, because I am a HUGE basketball fan. *reddens with shame*

07-13-2007, 07:46 PM
I also really lucked out with my copyeditor. She verified all sort of historical factoids and pointed out lots of things I should double check just in case. I'm a pretty anal-retentive researcher, but I will forever be in her debt for the inaccuracies she spotted.

I'm praying I get the same person on book two.

grommet (http://www.kathrynmillerhaines.com)

07-13-2007, 09:05 PM
What's the difference between an editor and a copyeditor?

Claudia Gray
07-13-2007, 09:15 PM
The editor acquires the manuscript, works with marketing, asks you questions about character motivation and plot turns -- basically, she does the "macro"-level work.

The copyeditor goes through the completed, all-but-final manuscript and points out where you need an em-dash, where you don't need commas, where you spelled the last name of a character one way on page 87 but another way on page 203, etc. -- the "micro"-level, dotting every I and crossing every T.

07-13-2007, 09:17 PM
Thanks, Claudia!! :)

07-13-2007, 09:25 PM
:Sun: Wow....hats off to the copyeditors out there. I had no idea you had this much talent. I am very impressed and hope that when my time comes, (please say it will come) I too will have someone that can aid in this area with this type of vigor.

07-14-2007, 10:16 PM
Claudia, as someone who earned his living for many years as a free-lance (and then staff) copyeditor, I'm glad you saw fit to thank yours--and to share your graciousness with this forum.

Unless things have changed in the nearly twenty years since I practiced the craft, copyeditors are still grossly underpaid, unsung, and, like as not, scowled at by authors who wonder why some pedant wearing a green eyeshade has attached so many query tags to their manuscripts.

For my first book, I had the best copyeditor I've ever run across--she was thoughtful, gifted with word sense, and well informed, and she respected my authorial voice. Her suggested changes clarified what I was trying to say, and I trusted her completely. When I reread the book after publication, I saw no phrases I wished I could have back. Such people are heaven-sent.

For my second book, with a different publisher, I tried to get her hired and was told, brusquely, no; the person they engaged tried hard but had little grasp of the subject and trouble with certain rules of English usage.