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.
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.