Copyediting

4 Dec

Making Book

Copyediting, in Britain usually called subediting, calls for a particular personality type. You have to have a determined, unrelenting attention to detail which enables you to play your important but subsidiary role in the writing of a book without any ego involvement. Ego is supplied aplenty by the author, and unfortunately often enough by the in-house editor. The copyeditor’s role is to get rid of all the inconsistencies and grammatical and orthographical errors in a manuscript. A good copyeditor would probably change orthographical to “spelling” in the previous sentence, and might do something about the three “and”s. I have never done copyediting, though I have supervised them, and I have the greatest respect for their ability to do their task in the almost total absence of obvious psychic rewards.

The subeditor would in some definitions carry out a bit more in the way of content editing, though maybe this “definitional”…

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