What does a copyeditor do?

When you invest in copyediting for your book, you are ensuring that your readers will notice your suspenseful plot, your compelling argument, your witty dialogue, and your brilliantly drawn characters rather than getting pulled out of the story by seeing typos, missing words, or grammatical errors. A good copyedit will show you how to straighten out awkward sentences, prune unnecessary words, and add spice and variety to your writing.  


A copyeditor also makes sure that everything in your book is consistent and correct, so that it looks professional. Do you use dashes in the same way throughout? Is your main character named Kristen or Kristin? Does she run “toward” the burning bus on page 15 and then “towards” the burning plane on page 46? (That Kristen, always trying to be a hero.) Is that really how you spell Meeteetse, Wyoming? (Yep, it sure is!) Do your characters use twenty-first-century slang in the 1940s? Your copyeditor will be checking all of these details and more.

Your copyeditor will create a style sheet specifically for your book, listing your preferences about commas, dashes, ellipses, and the like. The style sheet will list the correct spellings for all character names and may also include a timeline of events if you have an especially complicated plot. Proper names will be verified and listed too, as will your preferred spellings for words like “ok” that have multiple correct spellings. OK? Okay.

Learn more about the Blue Garret’s editing principles.