Copy Editing is the work an editor does to improve the formatting, style, and accuracy of text. Unlike general editing, copy editing might not involve changing the substance of the text. Copy refers to written or typewritten text for typesetting, printing, or publication. However, at Parnassus Press, our copy editor’s suggestions include general editing concerns, comments and recommendations. Copy editing is done before both typesetting and proofreading, the latter of which is the last step in the editorial cycle.
Typically, after we deem a submission is viable, we send the manuscript to our experienced copy editor, who will complete an initial assessment or evaluation on the manuscript. This copy editor will perform what is called a mechanical edit/general editing assessment, which means this editor was working to delete or correct all the mechanical writing errors included in a 10-15 page sample of your work as well as to determine the level of general editing required, if necessary. If general editing is unnecessary and only minor proofreading is required, we will proceed to book production. If the manuscript is not production-ready, the copy editor may require you to correct writing problems, have the manuscript edited by a professional editor, submit additional ideas and possibly perform some minor rewriting.
In the ongoing transformation of the publishing industry, the definition of Copy Editing has evolved. According to Mark Nichol’s Internet Writing Tips, copy editing involves finessing “a writer’s prose so that it observes all the conventions of good writing. A writer may be skilled at explaining a procedure or verbally depicting a scene, but the copy editor is the one who makes sure the manuscript’s syntax is smooth, that the writing adheres to the conventions of grammar, and that wording is proper and precise and punctuation is appropriate and correctly placed.”
Thus the copy editor is one of the most important professionals involved in publishing books, especially in today’s market, with independent and small press assuming a greater share of publishing responsibilities. More than mere proofreading, the copy editor is a professional editor who can, with great efficiency, critically evaluate your manuscript in terms of subject, writing, style, substance and overall marketability.
If one of our editors has recommended copy editing to you, chances are that you need the help of this professional. You could attempt to make the prescribed corrections yourself, but being realistic, sometimes professional assistance can make the difference between merely getting published or establishing a good name (brand) and a sustained career as an author.
Professionals charge, of course, but at Parnassus Press, we chose to work with contractors who understand the current economics of the publishing industry. For that reason, we only work with editors who are willing to work with us with us to keep costs down for authors.
Our price for Copy Editing is $0.021 per word, which is about 30% less than the amount that copy editors typically charge. You can determine the price for copy editing your manuscript by multiplying the total word count of your manuscript by .021. On the calculator below, you can do the math.
At Parnassus Press, we give special attention and may apply additional discounts to authors and publishers who are our partners. Because we are a small editorial department, our typical turnaround time for copy editing an 80,000 word manuscript is ten days. Payment terms are 50% up-front and 50% upon delivery.