Pablo Gets A Copy Editor

Today marked yet another milestone towards getting my novel out the door.

People constantly express their amazement at how long it has taken.  I get it.  No one is more mystified by the process than I.

One of the many reasons it’s proven to be such a protracted odyssey is because it’s not just about the writing.  Thankfully, that’s the biggest part.  There are, however, quite a few others.  My password list now shows twenty different accounts specific to my literary endeavor.


So close to finishing the book, I recently learned I needed something else:  a copy editor.

I didn’t know what a copy editor was.

Not exactly.

I’d heard the term, but I didn’t know what it entailed.  How did what copy editors do differ from developmental, structural, or line editors?  Were they like proofreaders, which is what I thought I needed—but, I learned, actually come after copy editors?  All I knew for sure was that I had to find one.

I did my research.  Over three days, I looked at hundreds of profiles.  There were thousands of copy editors out there.  Anyone who had ever corrected anything from a post-it note to a best-selling novel seemed qualified to be a copy editor.

Naturally, I wanted someone on the best-seller end of the spectrum.  I had been fortunate enough to engage a brilliant developmental editor.  My cover designer was one of the best in the industry.  While tempted to save on yet another expense, so close to the end of my project, I didn’t want to skimp.

Once I had selected two finalists, I asked for sample edits.  I then had question-and-answer calls with both editors.  I had hoped one would emerge as the clear winner.  However, both seemed great.  One found more issues, but I liked the other’s rewrites better.  One was considerably more expensive.  They were both a pleasure to talk with.

I took a day to give it some thought, my search now having taken nearly two weeks.

The good news is that not only did I make my decision (another story in and of itself), but today I sent off the novel.  Copyediting begins tomorrow.

The end truly is in sight.