Copy edits

copy edits

revisions to improve your manuscript at the sentence level

When will I do copy edits?

Some time after you finish revising your manuscript with your editor (focusing on plot, character, etc.), a copy editor will mark up your manuscript for corrections (focusing on grammar, mechanics, etc.). This might come in an email with your manuscript marked up using “track changes” or it might come in the mail with a hard copy of your manuscript marked up with copyeditor/proofreader marks. You will need to either accept or “stet” each proposed change. If you don’t like a proposed change you can write/type “stet” which means “let it stand.” It’s nice to provide a reason for stetting if you can.

How long will I have to go through the copy edits and return the manuscript to my editor?

Probably about a week. Sometimes more or less.

What if I don’t like the proposed changes?

You can “stet” them. Stet as many as you want–it’s your manuscript. But try to understand why the copyeditor has proposed the changes. Ask for clarification if needed. There’s nothing worse than seeing a mistake in your finished, published book and realizing that you should have changed it earlier.

See also Revisions.