Editing and correction

Not always the editor is responsible!

Time and again, I come across social media remarks that point out that a book that has undergone proofreading should not contain so many spelling mistakes or be formulated so poorly! In a jiffy, the editor is chalked up, whose name is found in the imprint. But they are often not at fault!

Insight into the editorial life

The one-step editing and its pitfalls

Most authors decide for cost reasons for a one-step editing. This means that the manuscript is thoroughly rerouted twice, and in fiction quite often three or four times. Then the edited text goes back to the author, who can decide in the Word file which corrections they accept and which not.

At this point, the matter is still simple, because experience has shown that authors trust the proofreading and make corrections that relate to spelling, grammar and punctuation, without exception. Even in those places where linguistically polished, you usually follow the recommendations or suggestions and accept the changes.

So far so good! Tricky thing in the comments.

What do I mean by that?

As part of the editing, a lecturer makes comments – depending on the quality of the text sometimes more, sometimes less. In a Wordfile you will find yourself at the edge. The authors are then once again after the editing: You must rewrite passages, sharpening thoughts, re-think statements, rewrite entire parts, etc.

And that’s where mistakes happen again! Sometimes even the entire manuscript is extensively reworked after the editing. The editor does not get it all at all; she or he does not see the manuscript anymore, before it is printed or appears as an e-book, but is mentioned in the imprint.

And then we have the Palawatsch, as we say so beautifully in Austria, together!

Possible solutions

What you can do as a writer / author

Send your editor the final version of your book and ask if you would like to be mentioned in the imprint. Rejoice, if the answer is yes, do not be disappointed if he or she declines (see also the note from Matthias Matting of the Selfpublisher Bible).

Or commission a two-stage proofreading. In this form of editing, your reviewer looks at the manuscript one more time after accepting all corrections and finishing all annotations. If you then do not change anything, a name by name in the imprint is nothing contrary.

What you can do as a copy editor

Since many authors are unaware of the problem with the entry in the imprint, you can already point this out when making an offer. You can say that you only want to be mentioned in the imprint after consultation – unless you are commissioned with a two-stage proofreading.

If you wish, you can also offer two versions: a one-step and a two-step proofreading, and in the latter case you can add that it is also possible to make an entry in the imprint.

By the way, Herbstgeraschel probably assumes that all texts are subjected to the strict reviewer’s look before they are published. We also find that this is necessary. Many authors disagree!