Editor Linda Jay Geldens speaks to indie authors:
You’ve spent months (or possibly years) writing the manuscript that will one day be your book. You’ve distilled all those handwritten notes from pages or scraps of paper, those often-incoherent e-mails to yourself, and those ideas racing around in your brain, and typed every one of them into the computer, in some loosely organized format that vaguely resembles a book. Then one day… hooray… it occurs to you that… you’re done!
Now you can’t wait to get your little gem “OUT THERE” for all the world to marvel at. You are indeed a writer (which nobody can deny, which nobody can deny)!
Oh, yes, you’ve given a sneak peek at your masterpiece to a few people whose opinion you trust—relatives, longtime friends, business colleagues. And, sure, they may have spotted a few misspellings, or a weird sentence construction here or there, but what the hey—everybody makes mistakes.
. . . .
But if you submit (interesting, the ramifications of that word “submission” when it refers to sending in a manuscript, isn’t it?) your pages to the hyper-scrutiny of a nitpicky copyeditor, won’t your authentic voice be changed or deleted or mangled beyond recognition?
The answer is… no, not if you properly vet the copyeditor to make sure you can work together well, and if the copyeditor stipulates that one of his or her goals is to make your manuscript publisher-ready… but not change your unique voice.
. . . .
A good copyeditor brings so much to the party. He or she can:
- go over grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure with a fine-tooth comb;
- check for consistency of verb tense, tone, and mood;
- find instances where sentences or paragraphs could be moved to make more logical sense;
- ask questions about clarity of idea, or accuracy of fact;
- call attention to parts of the text that could be tightened, expanded, livened up or deleted;
- make suggestions — synonyms for overused words, deletions of redundant words or phrases
Link to the rest at The Book Designer