In writing forums, I’ve seen many writers ask questions like:
What does a copyeditor do?
What is the difference between copyediting and proofreading?
Do I really need an editor for my novel or story?
My first two novels were traditionally published, and they were both taken through the usual two rounds of editing: developmental edits (aka story edits) and copy edits (or line edits… some people distinguish between the two terms, and others, like me, are philistines who use them interchangeably.)
A while back when I was reviewing self-publishing costs, I noted that while it’s ideal to have both a developmental editor and a copy editor, the copy editor is the one place I wouldn’t skimp.
There are many indie authors who don’t use editors. Even though I have strong opinions about self-publishing, which is clear from the linked post, I do realize that what other writers do is none of my business. I’m hoping this post gives people more information to make their own decision.
I have an MFA in Creative Writing, and I’m a voracious reader, so you might think that I wouldn’t need a lot of copyediting. And you’d be wrong!
Here’s my re-enactment of what the copy edits looked like on my first published novel… just a wall of changes in the margin.
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