Unlike earlier, when publishing houses were in control of the entire writing workflow from beginning to end, most publishing houses now, including large publishers, multinational publishers, and vernacular publishers outsource their copy-editing services. This is mainly because errors in the content/writing can undermine the validity of the overall content.
Copy editing primarily focuses on preparing a content piece or document for publication by checking for various inconsistencies and mistakes the writers/authors may have missed. Editor should be aware of the mistakes to be avoided in copy-editing.
This blog aims to explore copy editing services and their impact on the publishing industry across regions including Europe, the USA, Canada, and the Middle East.
How Does Copyediting Work?
Having a document copy edited by a professional copy editor helps publishers address a wide array of issues that would usually lead to a delayed submission for publication or even rejection if not resolved before submission.
Put simply, copy editors revise written content to ensure better clarity and accuracy of the content. They can take a rough draft full of errors, including spelling mistakes, grammar, language, and style issues and turn it into a piece of writing ready for submission. Besides, they also work in collaboration with the author to improve the original draft and reshape it into a piece ready to be published.
Among other things, copy editors work towards improving the following:
- Clarity and tone
- Grammar and punctuation
- Plot consistency
- Sentence structure
Significance of Copy Editing in the Publishing Industry
Some of the key benefits of using copy editing services for both multinational and vernacular publishers include:
- Enhances accuracy
Copyediting services help you improve the overall accuracy of the content. Since copyeditors look at the content with an objective view, it helps them ask questions in case anything is unclear, thus improving the accuracy and flow of the piece.
- Formats errors
Another important priority for a copy editor is highlighting and suggesting corrections to various grammatical errors, punctuation, spelling, and syntax. While a proofreader can also tackle these areas, a copy editor still needs to address them as they may affect the contents of the work itself.
- Accelerates publishing
One of the other benefits of copy editing is that it helps in accelerating the overall publication process, especially for large publishers. It is primarily because reviewers only have to concentrate on the content of the manuscript.
Furthermore, altering a duplicate of the original copy also helps speed up the distribution as the analysts have to focus only on the original copy’s substance. Post copyediting, there are minimal possibilities of the manuscript being sent to update syntactic mistakes or fix other common errors.
- Reduce the chances of rejections
There are high chances that publishers may dismiss the initial manuscript due to grammatical errors, inconsistency in the design, critical ambiguity in the substance, and other similar issues. Copyediting helps in reducing the instances of manuscript rejection because of such issues in the content.
- Enables better word choice usage
Copy editing services help in elevating the selection of words. Since diverse specialized fields have specific word structures and jargon, leveraging the right set of words improves the overall nature of the content.
You might also like to read: Tips For Proofreading
- Checks for consistency
A copy editor needs to be very detail-oriented as one of their key responsibilities is to thoroughly go through the given work and ensure that all the details are consistent. Among these include descriptions of settings, characters, terminology, etc.
- Fact checks
The copyediting process/services can also involve thorough research, especially when editing nonfiction works. In case there is no specialized fact-checker working on a publication, the copy editor also verifies various dates, facts, and events to maintain factual accuracy.
How Should Publishers Approach Copyediting Services?
When using copyediting services prior to publishing the piece, it is important to set out the expectations and schedule before the actual process of copyediting begins. While the copyeditor brings the required expertise to the overall writing process, it is up to the author or publisher to guide that expertise.
Some of the things that need to be addressed include:
- Communicating and clarifying which style guide and editing/styling references need to be used for the manuscript
- Allowing your copyeditor to make common grammatical, styling, and spelling changes directly as they have both expertise and authority in this area
- Developing a detailed copyediting schedule. For instance, whether you need copyediting to be done once the manuscript is complete or as and when the chapter is completed
- Clearly defining the copyeditor’s role. For instance, whether you require the copyeditor to check just grammar and spelling or if you want them to scan the entire text for overall clarity, consistency, and style as well
- Determining and communicating which sections and elements of the content (text, in-text citations, figures and table captions, attribution statements, etc.) should be copyedited to save everyone time
- Communicating to the copyeditor to keep a comprehensive list of items that the author should review, such as subject-related questions, text that requires significant rewrites, etc.
Copy editing is an important process with various advantages, including enhancing the quality, reducing rejections, avoiding ambiguity, improving the manuscript’s authenticity, and accelerating publication for large publishers.
Several authors feel they don’t need a professional copy editor because they’ve opted for the traditional publishing route. That’s not recommended; for any publisher to even consider a writer/author to be worthy of publishing, they need to have a final draft that is completely devoid of errors. Professional copy editors are equipped to fix such errors and are capable of sending out an effective manuscript that is error-free.
For authors as well as editors, it is important to recognize that the process of copy editing can create a huge impact on the overall publishing industry. Hurix offers pre-editing and copy-editing services for accurate, polished and impactful content.