Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Let's Talk about Editors (Part 3 of 12)

3. Copyeditors usually come next. (Smaller publishers have cut out the copyeditors and expect the acquiring editors to function in both positions.)

Copyeditors are the techies who take over after you and your editor have polished the manuscript. They check for correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. They point out inconsistencies and inaccuracies. Sometimes they rewrite an awkward sentence.

For my last few books, I've had two bad copyeditors. In both instances, they were new and still in the stage of proving themselves. One of the books Twila Belk and I wrote together was the worst. The copyeditor forgot the book was ours and her responsibility was to make it sound like us—only better. Instead, she eliminated contractions, reworded important sentences, and the style became stiff and very unlike us.

I appealed to the senior editor, who agreed, and they assigned an experienced copyeditor who did an excellent job.

Remind yourself that editors aren't the final word. It's a cooperative venture to put out the best product.

1 comment:

  1. I have had this experience only a few times with a copyeditor who completely rewrote my article and I didn't recognize the voice. This is a horrible experience. In one situation I asked the editors to not publish it if it had to remain in the form I received back because I felt some fundamental Biblical issues were changed that I did not want my name associated with but I told them that if they wanted to print it without my name they could go ahead and use it. I just didn't want to be associated with it. One of the other times I co-wrote an article with my husband. I still giggle over the way she changed both of our voices and had us cheering to pom-poms and other cutesy tie-ins that matched her theme. It was too late to have it changed and we were on the cover of the magazine so I let it go and chalked it up to "whatever." Sometimes you just have to release things to God. This organization went under a year or so later and the digital magazine is hopefully in cyber la-la land.

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