With PerfectIt, Grammarly, and the squiggly red, green, or blue lines under your words, your writing is good enough for publication, right?
Maybe. But most likely, no.
Writing is not a one-person job
We have this idea of writers holed up in their office or a cabin in the woods until their masterpiece is written. But no piece of good writing has ever been written in isolation. Writing is a collaboration, and for good reason.
With the help of one or more editors (different editors come in at different stages of the writing process), you’re not alone in crafting your idea onto paper. You know how you can get better ideas when talking to someone? We the editors are trained to be that someone.
We keep track of details so you don’t have to
A copyeditor is there to tidy up your work. Writing is a mad event—pages and paragraphs being moved around, themes evolving over time, ideas being jotted down in half-sleepy fits, not to mention the length of time it takes to write something.
Spelling, commas, and key details are bound to get lost in the frenzy. You’ve been looking at and working with your writing for so long, the little things can just slip by—it happens to every single writer you can think of. (Yes, you can end a sentence with a preposition.)
Your main job as a writer is to get your ideas across. Your editor should help you only fine-tune it. We’re here to make sure your readers will fully understand the story you’re telling.
What if you’re submitting to a publisher?
If you’re submitting your work to a publisher—whether a book publisher or academic press—your work will benefit from being edited before you submit it. Typically for nonfiction, the idea for your book is acquired by a publishing house before you’ve written it all out. So when you hand it over to them, you’ll want to start their editing process with your best foot forward. Having confusing sentences or inconsistent spelling is not a great way to start that relationship.
Even if the publisher has their own copyediting phase in the publishing process, you should still hire a copyeditor to review your work before submitting it. First, it ensures that the final piece of writing will be at its best: your copyeditor will catch the major issues, and the publisher’s copyeditor can focus on making the content fit the specific house style. But it also shows the publisher that you are serious about publishing your best work, which will in turn lead to more future projects.
What if you’re self-publishing?
If you’re going the self-publishing route, you’ll definitely want to have a copyeditor help review your work. Another pair of eyes that is trained to look at the nitty gritty detail will help make your work cohesive. While self-publishing is certainly a good way to get your work out there, it typically means the author has to find his or her own version of the support systems that publishing houses normally offer. That means you should get a developmental editor, copy editor, layout designer, and proofreader (as well as marketing, sales, maybe even a book coach).
Ultimately, we save you time
Writing is actually a lot of rereading and rewriting. Having someone else help you with the rereading and tweaking will save you time that is better spent on doing other things—promoting your work, finding outlets to sell to, networking among your field, or simply playing with your pet. (Never underestimate the power of playing with your pet.) Plus, by giving your manuscript to a copyeditor, it forces you to step away from your work, which will allow you to view it with fresh eyes at a later date.
If you’re looking for this type of help, let’s chat! We can talk about where you are in this process and what you’re looking for in an edit. And if you’re unsure of what type of work you’d like done, I can also offer some ideas.
Copyright © 2020 Bridget Carrick