In the writers’ groups where I hang out online, these queries are evergreen: How do I know if I need a copyeditor before I submit my work to an agent or editor? How do I find a good copyeditor? How much does copyediting cost?
People who work in publishing have their own vocabulary, including many terms related to printing, typesetting, and design. You’ll find some of these terms in the glossary at the back of CMOS. How many do you know?
Copyeditors typically work in a word-processed manuscript, making and suggesting changes directly in the document. Proofreaders come in at a later stage, after the manuscript has been converted and formatted for publication in a program like Adobe InDesign.
Before a book is printed, while the text is still in manuscript form, editors at publishing houses speak in terms of word count, not page count. An appropriate word count for a project depends on the kind of book.
This month’s quiz focuses on the specialized terms that editors and proofreaders and other publishing pros use to communicate with each other. Because authors are also involved in the publication process, they too may need to know what these expressions mean.
To a copyeditor working on a manuscript, a space is usually just a space, and line breaks are random, fluid occurrences that vary as text is added and deleted and moved around. Designers and typesetters will take the edited text and make it pretty for publication, in part by applying different types of spaces as needed to prevent unwanted breaks.
This month we’re doing something a little different. Instead of focusing exclusively on CMOS, this quiz highlights some of the differences between US style and UK style (commonly called British style). But we won’t be quizzing you on trunk versus boot or fries versus chips.
Books are the anchors of the publishing world, at least judging by the weight of The Chicago Manual of Style. They’re also the subject of CMOS’s first seventy-six numbered paragraphs (1.1–76)—and of this month’s “Chicago style” workout. Take the quiz to learn more.
When you write a book to send to an agent or editor, you are preparing a manuscript. And even if your ideas, characters, and plot twists are colorful and creative, your manuscript format should not be.
From public domain and “all rights reserved” to fair use and permissions, many of the basic principles of copyright will be familiar to those of us who work with words. But anyone can use a refresher.