In a copy edit, Contributors aser-focused on the finer points of your written TextBooks, such as word choice, syntax, factual accuracy, repetition, inconsistencies, grammar, style, spelling, and repetition
As Contributor you will likely do the following:
- Correct any typos, which would include misspelled words.
- Fill in missing words.
- Format the manuscript before production, and that includes just one space between sentences (I don’t care what you learned in typing class in high school, the double space messes up the document when it is converted into real book pages).
- Streamline punctuation and properly use commas, periods, and em dashes—like this.
- Avoid overuse of ellipses to denote a break in thought … when they are really used to show missing text. And those exclamation marks! I allow authors about five in each manuscript. Overuse them, and they lose their punch.
- Make sure the names of characters and places are spelled consistently throughout (Peterson in chapter 1 may or may not be the same Petersen in chapter 6).
- Find and replace similarly sounding words that have different meanings (for example, effect and affect).
- Conduct a modest fact check (perform a Google search to find the exact spelling of Katharine Hepburn or the capital of Mongolia). This isn’t Jeopardy!, so you do get to consult resources. I keep a window open to Google just for such searches.
- Make new paragraphs to break up long passages.
- Question the use of song lyrics and remind the author to get written permission.
- Point out, in academic work, that footnote 6 does not have a reference source in the citations.
- Remove overuse of quotation marks. For emphasis, use italics, but sparingly. Books generally do not use boldface.
- Impose a consistent style for the text (this means using a style guide for capitalization and hyphenation, treatment of numbers, heading levels).