Copyediting 101

You’ve spent weeks, months and maybe even years working on your book. You’ve read and revised the manuscript several times. Now it is ready for publication, right? Wrong. No matter how good of a writer you are or how many times you’ve proofread and revised your book, you need to consider professional copyediting if you want your book to be taken seriously. Here are three reasons why.

1) Copyediting is More than Proofreading

Most books are expected to adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style guidelines. (There are other styles  for certain books such as medical or scientific books.) The Chicago  Manual of Style has specific guidelines on everything from numbers to hyphens to spellings. The most important style issue is consistency. For instance, if you use the word “e-mail” in chapter one, you can’t later spell it as “email” in chapter six. While proofreaders can find obvious errors such as spelling mistakes or typos, they don’t find the larger errors a copyeditor looks for.

2) It is Almost Impossible to Edit Your Own Work

Sure, you can read your work several times and find mistakes, but most authors cannot thoroughly edit their own work. This is because you are so familiar with your manuscript that you look over mistakes a new set of eyes would find. Also, you may not have the skills needed to perform a copyedit. Copyeditors are considered professionals for a reason.

3) A Flawed Book Won’t be Taken Seriously

Yes, even books published by top publishing houses and well-known authors occasionally have errors. It is impossible for every writer and every editor to always catch every error, but professional books are almost 100% error free. If your book is riddled with errors, no one will take your book seriously. You will be subject to the harsh criticism that sometimes surrounds self-published authors. Prove to your readers and your critics that you value your book and you are a professional by hiring a professional copyeditor to review your book before publication.

If you are interested in hiring a professional copyeditor, find out what services are available through your self publishing company. You can also find professional copyeditors online or ask writer friends to recommend a copyeditor they have used.

I’d love to know, do you plan on hiring a copyeditor?

ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.

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