First off, please note the new ad at the top of the right-hand sidebar.
Now let me explain a few things: I’ve had more than two dozen books published by major New York publishing houses. Every single one of them went through a professional editing process, which included copy editing. There are several sorts of copy editing – line editing, for instance, is designed to catch typos, bad spelling, and continuity breaks – “Hey! Didn’t that guy have red curly hair just two chapters back, and now he’s bald?” Oops.
Nothing looks more unprofessional, destroys the reader’s confidence, and tosses said reader out of a state of willing suspension of disbelief than amateurish mistake like these.
But there is another layer of copy-editing that begins to overlap with the traditional role of the full editor – and that is noticing major and repeated conceptual flaws, informational problems, research issues, and the like. Those sorts of copy editors are few and far between, because they actually have to know stuff, and a lot of it.
These folks don’t just catch errors, they add value to your writing. They don’t try to write your book for you (I’ve had a couple like that) but they help you write the best book you can.
SteveF – Stever Furlong – is like that. He blazed through my 1000 page manuscript faster than I would have believed possible, and yet he caught all those typos, spelling errors (and spellcheck errors, where the word is spelled correctly, but is the wrong word), and on top of it, added more value to my book than any copy editor I’ve ever had. His suggestions were almost always spot on, to the point where I would sometimes slap my forehead and wonder why in the hell I didn’t see that?
And I’ve been doing this a long, long time, and more successfully than most. And if a pro like me – and yes, I’m a professional writer – can benefit from this sort of editings, how much more help might Steve be to somebody of lesser experience?
Here’s a little secret: No matter how good you are, a good editor can improve your stuff. Everybody gets edited, from Steven King on down. So if you are writing the Great American Novel – or even the Great American Cookbook – you’ll need a good copy editor.
Stever Furlong is the best copy editor I’ve ever worked with. Take it to the bank. Or the bookstore.