In Praise of the Copyeditor ~ Anna Zabo: Outside the Margins

Join us as Anna Zabo goes Outside the Margins.


In Praise of the Copyeditor

I recently received copyedits for Just Business and I have to say, I love my copy editor. I don’t actually know who the unsung hero is, because the markup just says Copyeditor. Heck, it may be more than one person, but whoever it is: Dear Berkley Copyeditor, thank you, thank you!

So what does a copyeditor do anyway?

I’m going to borrow a paragraph from A Writer’s Guide to Understanding the Copyeditor

The copyeditor prepares the manuscript for the typesetter, proofreading for typos and keying design elements. She also styles the manuscript, making sure that its spelling, punctuation, usage, and fonts are internally consistent and follow the publisher’s house style. She checks for faulty grammar. Depending on the latitude afforded by the publisher (and whether the editor requested a light or medium copyedit–fiction never gets a heavy copyedit), she will either recast grammatically incorrect sentences, shuffling the words into syntactic order without changing them, or she will suggest possible fixes in a query. And she keeps an eye out for errors of logic and continuity, querying things that seem physically impossible or that violate the internal logic of the book’s universe.

Now, I’m reasonable at punctuation, grammar, and usage. But I’m hardly perfect. I kind of know where there should be a comma, but these folks know. Thank heaven. But the greatest thing, for me, that a copyeditor does is that they notice all the logical inconsistencies I missed. For lo, stuff gets edited out—and then other stuff refers to that edited out stuff and ooooooops.

Like in the first chapter, Eli hands something back to Sam. Except in the final version I worked on Sam never hands him that thing. I missed it. A lot of other eyes missed it.

The copyeditor didn’t. Huzzah!

The copyeditor also put together a stylesheet for my book that includes a timeline of events to make sure that all that is correct.

And she (or he) fact-checked the price of coffee from Commonplace Coffee, a local Pittsburgh roaster that I mentioned in the novel to make sure I was correct. (Uh, I was not. Hangs head in shaaaame.)

Goodness, there’s a lot of other things, too. Making sure the spelling of every blessed street I mentioned is correct. Distances. All the names (so many names). Just…a ton of things I kind of just juggle in my brain—the copyeditor double-checks.

I mean, I do check too, but sometimes I don’t because, you know, I live in Pittsburgh, right? And then it comes and bites me in the butt. So, yeah. Copyeditors are grand because they save my butt from looking kinda dumb before the book comes out.

Editors in general are grand, don’t get me wrong! I love you all! But the copyeditor gets so little love!

So here’s a little love. And I think I may send some coffee beans, too.


JB_large Title: Just Business
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: BDSM, Contemporary, M/M Romance

A steamy new novel about having all the control—and losing it…

Justin White may not look like an up and coming corporate superstar, but his new boss knows he has the smarts, grit, and determination to succeed. Now he just has to convince his company’s CFO, Eli Ovadia. Unfortunately, Justin can’t seem to keep his cool around the domineering Eli—and soon he finds himself taking their heat from the boardroom into the bedroom….

Still haunted by a tragic accident that left him with a wounded leg and broken heart, Eli has a need to be in control. But his desire for Justin makes him want to lose that control—and push them both far beyond their limits. But will his need to dominate Justin drive him away—or will Eli find a way to be the man he needs for both of them?

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
Kobo US

~ Anna Zabo

About Anna Zabo

Anna Zabo writes contemporary and paranormal romance for all colors of the rainbow. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think. You can find her online at or more often on Twitter as @amergina.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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