The editing process is time-consuming and requires a lot of effort. However, the copy-editing services provided by the copy editor reduce the burden of work and the pressure of competition from the shoulders of the writer.
You as a writer can also find copy editing beneficial if your English writing skills are not up to the mark, you are unfamiliar with the publishing styles, you need to make more publications more quickly, or you want to improve the quality of your work, or you are burdened with other engagements.
The process of copy editing will vary from manuscript to manuscript, depending on the type of your content. So you need to be specific in what you want in order to get the most out of the services of your copy editor.
What to consider before hiring a copy editor?
There are certain questions you need to ask yourself if you want to avoid getting insufficient, unnecessary, or incorrect edits.
1) What do you expect to improve in your manuscript?
Copy editors aim to improve your writing, so you need to know what improvements you want to get done. Editors prefer that you give them helpful information, such as whether you want to improve the clarity of text or improve the flow of the text or correct the formatting of the manuscript at the start of the project.
Some writers want the copy editor’s focus to be on grammar, language, flow, and clarity of the content, while others want to improve their manuscript according to the publisher’s guidelines. So knowing what you want will not only save your time but also the time of your editor.
2) What language requirements are needed for your manuscript?
There are various forms of English languages used that affect the spelling as well as the grammar of the manuscript. Editors find it easier and much more helpful if you indicate the English language you want to use in your manuscript, the British spelling or American spelling, or both if that’s your requirement.
This also helps remove confusion and allows the editors to focus on other more important things in order to provide you with an improved and polished manuscript in a shorter period of time.
3) What are the format and publisher guidelines you have to follow?
Wherever you want to submit your work, you will be given a publisher’s guidelines for the format and style of your content. So it’s essential that you specifically tell your editor about these guidelines.
There is a misunderstanding among people that there is only one right way to do things, but this is not the case when it comes to formatting.
Guidelines vary from publisher to publisher, so you need to know which one you want to have followed in your manuscript. But if you are unsure or want to edit your work before selecting a publisher, then you can use the most common style and format used in your subject area or by a publishing company that you are interested in. This will give your editor something to work with.
So it’s essential that you know the answer to the above-mentioned questions before you choose a copy editor. If you are looking for copy editors for hire, then there are certain deciding factors that you need to consider. Continue reading to learn all about them.
What to consider when deciding on a copy editor?
There are various factors that you should pay attention to when you make your choice of a copy editor.
1) What is the experience level of the editor?
The experience level of an editor will be depicted by the cost they are charging. You can find less costly editors who will be less experienced, but you need to use these copy editors cautiously.
So when you think you have found a good price, you need to check the experience of the editor to ensure they are experienced and are not trying to learn by editing your manuscript.
2) Is there an upfront price, or are they going to give a quote?
Depending on the type of pricing method copy editors are using, some editors will look through your manuscript before they give you a quote. While others, mostly those using price per 1000 words, will provide a quote without seeing your work.
3) Will you be given a sample edit before you decide?
Reputable and renowned editors will give sample edits of a few thousand words of your manuscript, and this is done free of charge. If the copy editor is not willing to give you a sample edit, then this should be a red flag.
4) Will you be working directly with a copy editor or with a third party who will give your manuscript to a freelancer?
There are various editorial companies that act as third parties and give your work to a freelance editor for copy editing. So you need to consider this when deciding what you want.
If you are conformable with getting your work edited by a freelancer, then you can go ahead with these companies, but if you prefer to work directly with a copy editor, then you need to hire one. In addition to this, third-party companies are more expensive.
5) What is the turnaround time?
The time it will take to copy edit your manuscript will differ greatly. You need to ask your editor to give you an exact return date before the payment process. This will help you plan accordingly.
You will know when you can get back your manuscript; you can easily decide on the next stages of publishing. So if a copy editor is unable to provide a return date, then you need to consider someone else. The rule of thumb is one month is sufficient for return.
6) What are their post-edit services?
The services are given after an edit may or may not be important for your manuscript. So before you contact a copy editor, you need to understand what your expectations are for post-edit services.
You can ask questions to the editors to determine whether they meet your expectations. Will you be able to talk to the editor directly after completion? Will the copy editor look at additional rewritten pieces of your manuscript?
The bottom line
Copy editing is a process where the editor reviews your work sentence by sentence to identify spelling mistakes and grammatical errors as well as inconsistencies in your text. Copy editing is essential for improving your manuscript in order to get it ready for publishing.
So it’s crucial that you consider the above-mentioned questions and factors before you hire a copy editor for your manuscript.