Showing posts with label style guides. Show all posts
Showing posts with label style guides. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Employing an Editor or Proofreader - Indie Publishers

I added some comments to a post on John Konrath's blog about employing a proofreader: Diana Cox in this case, who charges very reasonable rates. The discussion worked around to editing styles and whether it might be wise to confirm the style the copy editor or proofreader will use for your manuscript. If you are from the UK or Australia you may prefer the Cambridge Handbook or Oxford Style Manual rather than the Chicago Manual of Style for example, depending on many things, including your main reader audience. Then again it may not matter to you at all.

The following are thoughts about this process for indie authors writing for a global audience and possibly sourcing editors and readers internationally.

If you are to employ an editor (or proofreader), you don't want to waste her time and yours if she is going to mark up all the serial comma misfits in strict accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style when you don't write to that style convention. Some degree of communication about such things may benefit both parties. This is only one example of course and many other points of style are contentious across international waters and style guides.

You can break the rules and create your own style, and this may work as long as it reads well and you don't get the grammar police giving you bad reviews on Amazon, which is never a good thing. Having said that, there are obvious reasons for following recognised styles.

One thing to note for indies is that when you sold your novel to a traditional agent/publisher, the international rights were looked after for you. That is, you did not have to worry about changing spelling, idiom and style to suit readers across the Atlantic or Pacific: your publisher did it if this was seen to be advantageous. The classic case was changing 'Philosopher' (UK) to 'Sorcerer' (US) in the title of the first Harry Potter book, plus idiomatic text changes as well. This was a poor decision on any number of criteria.

With Amazon recently opening a German Kindle Store, with probably more to come, whether indies decide they need to have more than one version of a book in order to maximise international sales is surely worth considering . . . or at least your editing style is.