The Copy Edit / Proof Read
Updated: Mar 17, 2019
I lost count of the amount of times I went over the manuscript before I even got to the stage of submitting it for a copy edit! It sounds straightforward, but... I found myself referring to the Oxford dictionary like it was my best friend. I thumbed through on numerous occasions to check on things like the title, should it be 'Free-Fall' (the original title), 'Freefall' or 'Free Fall'? The first and third were both acceptable options. After a bit of deliberation with the production and marketing teams it was decided that the best option was 'Free Fall'. That was just the title. There were almost 60,000 words to check over following that and plenty of issues arose. I felt like I could quote pages in my sleep! But I knew that the manuscript needed to be as good or as polished as I could get it before submission for a copy edit. I'd already gathered feedback from as many sources as I could regarding plot / errors / aspects of the story that could work better etc. Critical feedback was more valuable as it offered a chance to improve where I could - often difficult to gain from friends and relatives! This is where an enterprise like Bubblecow is invaluable, their advice is honest and helpful.
After the copy edit and receiving a page of feedback, I spent a lot of time accepting tracked changes and adjusting commas, semi-colons and speech marks amongst other stuff (some of it a bit tedious but very necessary). Then I re-read it all again to make sure there wasn't any rogue track changes appearing on pages that I hadn't spotted. This took a whole lot of time and patience - something I wasn't always good at without a lot of breaks. After completing the changes, I sent it back to Matador for a typeset of the first few pages. Luckily enough, I loved their choice of font and presentation. They used hearts to separate the scene breaks and it fitted really well with the style of my book. Then they typeset the full document, after which it was my responsibility to make sure the document was as near to perfect as possible before approving it for a print run - the exciting but nervous bit!