Em Dashes, Fact Checks, and Timelines: Fun with Copyedits

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I love getting mail with this letterhead.

One step closer to publication–copyedits!

Copyedits are different than the editorial letters you may get from your editor. These all deal with the nitty-gritty of your manuscript–consistent spelling, where the commas should be, if your character is supposed to be going to the moon on a Tuesday or Wednesday, etc. Basically, copyeditors are like Nancy Drews for the book world.

This week I received my copy-edited manuscript from Candlewick and, thankfully, it was a pretty painless process. This is probably helped by the fact that I a) have worked in publishing, so I’m familiar with the process/terms and b) I’m a huge grammar nerd at heart. I feel like copyediting is basically a game in which you have to find all the secret, hidden mistakes. Get all the points with correct grammar!

A few things my copyeditor caught:

  • The manuscript!

    The manuscript!

    When I switched the spelling of one minor character’s last name and then switched it back.

  • Missing words in quotes by Amelia Earhart (which is probably why I shouldn’t try to type while holding a book open).
  • That if Halloween is on a Sunday, Christmas shouldn’t fall on a Tuesday.
  • Missing commas (a comma fan like I am was only too happy to put them in).
  • When I try to use words that almost sound like the one I actually meant to use.

I’m so happy that someone went through my manuscript and was able to pick out all these little errors that would have looked so horrific in print. And I’m even more psyched that this means we’ve taken another big step in the editorial process!

13 thoughts on “Em Dashes, Fact Checks, and Timelines: Fun with Copyedits

  1. I have to admit, I’m impressed that she caught, “That if Halloween is on a Sunday, Christmas shouldn’t fall on a Tuesday.” I don’t think I would have ever noticed that. What an amazing little detail.

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