Why You Need Copy Editing
Once you have written your eBook, you don’t want to publish it without first polishing the draft manuscript. Even the best books can be spoiled by spelling typos, grammatical errors and badly chosen language.
The writer is often a document or manuscript’s first proofer, so it’s handy to know what exactly you should be looking out for if you are an author correcting your own work before sending it on to your professional copy editor.
It will also be up to your copy editor to start shaping the writing into something more reader-friendly and digestible, and to make sure there are no glaring errors. Word-2-Kindle has a strong team of professionals who can make this process absolutely seamless for you.
Making Sense of Copy
Primarily, the copy editor’s job is to ensure that the text that lands in the reader’s hands can be clearly understood, and is enjoyable to read. While the copy editor’s job does involve correcting the spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax, copy editing also helps to maintain the flow and readability of an article, paper, poem or manuscript.
The copy editor must also question word choice where necessary, tackle inconsistencies and overly-complicated sentence structures and replace jargon with uncomplicated language. When preparing for Amazon book publishing and eBook publishing on other platforms, using a professional copy editor will be an author’s best option!
Fact-checking, and flagging potentially sexist, racist, and other discriminatory vocabulary are further key roles of many copy editors. Publishing incorrect facts or a libelous copy can prove hugely problematic for any writer and their reputation.
What copy editing can provide for your eBook:
- Correcting faulty spelling, grammar and punctuation.
- Ensuring consistency in spelling, hyphenation, capitalization, numerals and fonts.
- Correcting incorrect word usage
- Reading copy methodically but from the perspective of the audience so as to ensure the author’s intended meaning is clear
- Flagging any inappropriate vocabulary or figures of speech
- Tidying up inconsistencies, ambiguous statements and overly-complicated sentence structures.
- Eliminating wordiness and jargon.
- Checking all cross-references (e.g., “As noted in Chapter 5…”)
- Creating and updating the Table of Contents
- Ensuring proper sequencing in the table of contents, and in any other lists
- Ensuring that the author’s preferred style is applied correctly and consistently.
- Making certain that chapter introductions, summaries, and any end-of-chapter questions accurately reflect the content of that chapter
- Writing headings and sub-headings; suggesting changes in chapter titles, etc.
- Ensuring that plot, setting, and character traits in fiction manuscripts are consistent in flow and function.
- Enforcing consistent style and tone throughout document or manuscript
- Polishing transitions and rearranging sentences and paragraphs to improve readability.
- Where appropriate, creating page layouts to ensure appropriate and easily read placement of text.
It is the proofreader who takes the already-revised copy-edited document or manuscript and gives it a final polish – sending it out into the world as a clean, clear publication, error-free and easy to read.
They do not look at the content in terms of improving the manuscript’s concept or the style or voice of the author. Their job is not to offer suggestions or advice on making the content flow easily or ideas shine more obviously. Their job is to simply make writing error-free and easier to read.
This doesn’t mean that copy editing and proofreading are easy. Being a “second pair of eyes” means having to stay focused on a piece of writing so that you catch any mistakes that the author may have missed. Your copy editor will have a high attention span and an equally high knowledge of syntax, spelling, punctuation and other grammar.
It also means being able to read a text technically, i.e. from a grammatical perspective. This can take practice. Many people find that staying alert to grammar mistakes and the fine-tuning of words, sentences and paragraphs is difficult, particularly when reading long-form writing.
And finally, it also means being able to follow correct formatting procedures – i.e. that text starts on the right page, that single words aren’t left high and dry at the top or bottom of a page and that diagrams aren’t split in two. Often a manuscript proof will already have been formatted, so it’s up to the proofreader to ensure that the format allows the text to be easily followed.
Final Revisions and Checks
The final revision of your manuscript needs a professional copy editor checking it before forwarding it to an Amazon book publishing and formatting service like Word-2-Kindle, that converts files into Amazon Kindle eBooks.
- Detecting any spelling, punctuation and other grammatical errors that may inadvertently have been missed by your copy editor.
- Comparing your final proof against the copy editor’s copy to ensure all flagged changes were implemented.
- Following expected rules of typesetting (e.g. correct hyphenation, no strange line breaks, no ‘widows and orphans’, etc.)
- Making sure the correct fonts, font size and styles are applied consistently.
- Reviewing that the structure and layout of a document are correct
- Checking text layout flows in a way that is legible and easy to follow.
- Checking page numbers at page top or bottom that identifies various chapters or sections in a book or publication.
- Double-checking for any mistakes in illustrated material, including graphs, tables or photo captions.
Trust the professionals at Word-2-Kindle to help make your Amazon Kindle eBook look perfect, professional and for it to be something you feel proud to have your name on the cover.