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What is the role of a copyeditor?

What is a copyeditor?

The copyedit is completed in the final (ish) stages of the editing project. It looks at the micro aspects of a manuscript and ensures it's finished and ready to be typeset and have a final proofread.

What kind of things does a copyeditor look at?

Copyedits focus on the micro aspects of an edit, therefore any of the big changes to the manuscript such as structure will have already been completed. Here are some of the things copyeditors look at: voice, style, language, storyline, context, POV, dialogue, consistency, flow.

In terms of spelling, punctuation and grammar, of course this is something a copyeditor will correct, however its not the focus of a copyedit. A copyeditor will aid the author in highlighting any issues or inconsistencies and help them produce their final draft.

How do I know if I'm ready for a copyeditor?

Once you have completed your final self-edit (even better if you have had beta readers look at your work too), then it's time to hire a copyeditor. It's essential that you're completely finished and happy with your manuscript before sending off your work.

It's important to share your plan with your copyeditor with what you intend to do with your book. For example, if you want to send it to an agent or publish it yourself, this will help your copyeditor to ensure the style is correct, appropriate and consistently applied throughout.

Does a copyeditor proofread?

Yes and no. Of course as a copyeditor, if there is an error in the writing, it will be corrected. However, as the focus in a copyeditor is a lot bigger than in a proofread, there be some minor mistakes missed and that's where the proofreader comes in. A final proofread should be completed when the book is completely finished, this includes after typesetting. The proofread is the final check of not just the writing but the design of the inside of the book too. It's the proofreader's job to catch any last minute mistakes. Using a different proofreader to your copyeditor is important as a fresh pair of eyes can be more effective.

What do I receive as a copyedit?

This will differ depending on who you work with. At Sophie's Proof, you will receive a marked up document with any changes highlighted which you can either accept or reject, suggestions in the comment section or questions to respond to. Once you have gone through the manuscript and accepted or rejected changes and replied to any comments, I will go through once again and return the final manuscript with an editing report (a document stating the successes, the changes, weaknesses and suggestions).

How do you pay for a copyeditor?

There are different ways that copyeditors charge, however most copyeditors will charge by the word. At Sophie's Proof, the charge for a copyedit is £0.008 per word, this includes two rounds of edits on the manuscript and a final editing report.

Once we have discussed the project and the manuscript has been sent over to me, I will send over an invoice for the first payment (which is 50%). Payments are all through bank transfer and all details will be available on the sent over invoice. The invoice for the second payment (the remaining 50%) will be sent over right before the end of the project, before I send over the final and fully edited manuscript.

If you're interested in using Sophie's Proof copyediting services, enquire now.


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