You’ve always wanted to try your hand at copy editing, right? Well, now’s your chance. I’m looking for volunteers to copy edit my latest book: Creative Writing: A Journey Of Discovery. The book is just over 21,000 words, around one third the size of a small paperback novel, and is fully loaded with amazing graphical images and sumptuous screen shots. But, wait a while, I hear you say; what is copy editing? Let me tell you.
Copy editing is the process of checking (a manuscript) for grammatical mistakes, non-conformance and inconsistencies in style, punctuation errors, unnecessary repetition, fact-checking, possible copyright violations, possible libellous statements, spelling errors, and anything else that catches your eye.
Ben Bennetts, Creative Writing: A Journey Of Discovery, 2018
There, now you know, but don’t be put off if you feel you’re nowhere near qualified to carry out all these checks. Neither am I and that’s why I need your help. Even if all you find is a spelling mistake, an obvious grammatical howler, a comma missing, or just a displaced apostrophe, it all helps.
If you’re still with me, let me tell you about the book.
Do you fancy yourself as a creative writer? Do you enjoy composing great works of literary art—meticulous texts, elegant e-mails, scathing or amusing letters to an editor, scintillating blogs, entertaining short stories, erudite reference books, unputdownable novels? Is there even such a word as unputdownable? (There is now!)
Is your grammar up to scratch? Do you copy edit your own compositions? Did you know there are no officially-sanctioned rules for English grammar? There is, however, a multitude of opinions on what constitutes correct usage, incorrect usage and even usage you can get away with as long as nobody notices—to boldly go springs to mind.
I use what I call the bish-bash-bosh style of writing: bish the words down into a Word file, bash them around, and bosh them to perfection. If this is your writing style, do you know how to manipulate your embryonic text into its final magnificent form using the hidden powers of Microsoft Word (Styles, Paragraph Marker, Find and Replace, Spellcheck and Autocorrect)? How about graphics? Do you understand the copyright infringement perils of snagging images, and text, from websites for use in your scholarly production? And when you’re done creating, do you know how to self-publish as an e-book, or even as a something-to-be-proud-of paperback book?
So many questions; so little time. Read this book and gain a head start into the heady world of creative writing and self-publishing.
2. Grammar and Punctuation
3. The Basic Tools of Writing
4. Polish, Polish, Polish
5. Copyright: the Perils of Snagging
6. Publishing your Book: e-book or p-book?
7. Creative Writing: Some Final Comments
About the Author
If you are still interested, send me an e-mail before Monday 29th January 2018 saying so and confirm you have access to Microsoft Word and you are familiar with the use of Track Changes and New Comment in the Review menu. I’ll reply with the manuscript as a Microsoft word DOC file, 3.6 MB.
And now to the most interesting part; the reward.
In return for your hard work, you will receive:
– a signed copy of the paperback version of the book when published;
– similarly, a soft copy, EPUB or MOBI, suitable for your e-reader;
– an informative introduction to the world of creative writing and self publishing;
– an honourable mention in the Acknowledgements in what will fast become a bestseller as listed by the New York Times Non-Fiction Bestsellers List for 2018;
– and the immense satisfaction that you spotted at least one, maybe three, spelling mistakes in my otherwise sparkling erudite prose!
Are you up for it?
PS. If you want to test your copy editing skills before committing, see if you can spot the three deliberate errors in the text of this blog. There may also be unintentional errors! Answers here.