Authorship Made Easy – Page 9

Authorship Made Easy By Susana Christie, Developmental Editor The Cognella Guide to Writing a Textbook

STEP THREE: Let go of perfection. Don’t edit or revise too much as you go along.

Some authors feel that everything should be absolutely perfect before it can be submitted. This is absolutely not the case.

  • Every Cognella text will go through copyediting by a professional copyeditor. The role of the copyeditor is to catch and correct every spelling, mechanical, syntactical, and grammatical error in the manuscript. The copyeditor will also make sure everything aligns with the style guideline that’s been selected for your book (Chicago Manual of Style, APA, etc.). If you’re not certain which style you’ll be using or you’d like to request a specific style, please discuss with your project editor as early as possible.
  • Copyeditors are experts in their field. You can trust your copyeditor to do great work regarding your project. If you must, you can give your submission—whether it be a chapter or a full manuscript—one quick polish. Anything else will take time away from continuing to develop content. Focus on your content. Once the book is done, let the copyeditor take care of the final polishing. You will have the chance to review and approve all of the copyeditor’s suggestions. It’s important to remember that your copyeditor will not be an expert in your content area, so their work will focus on grammar, mechanics, and style guidelines for things such as citations.
  • Some authors spend so much time polishing one chapter that they don’t move ahead with the next! Unless you are making major content changes, save rewriting and revising until late in the process. Even small edits can be a waste of time if that particular sentence or paragraph is cut when you finalize your manuscript.

STEP FOUR: Decide what you want your editor to look for and share the information.

What should you consider when you submit materials? Your primary concern, and that of your editor, will be the quality and clarity of the content. Express your concerns and your enthusiasms:

  • Are you worried about the clarity of a paragraph, chapter, or section?
  • Do you feel like something might be missing?
  • Are you really excited about something?
  • Is there something you want to add or remove from the book?
  • Do you need advice about where to put something in the book?

Let your editor know. Your editor is your second pair of eyes.

There are some other important things to keep in mind when you submit any material to your editor:

  • Your editor is not offering corrections. Your editor is asking questions and offering suggestions.
  • Your editor will not fuss about where you put a comma or copyedit your work for spelling and grammar. Your editor will help you generate content. (Copyediting occurs during a later stage, the production phase, for your book once your manuscript draft has been finalized.)
  • Your editor will read from the perspective of a student, which can give you invaluable feedback about the clarity and comprehensibility of your content.
  • Your editor is a publishing expert, but not an expert in your academic discipline.
  • Your editor can help you navigate every aspect of publishing your book, from punctuation to continuity between ideas to organization. Your editor cannot address specific content-related issues.
  • Your editor can request peer review, if you would like to have your content read by an expert in your content area prior to publication.

Please note that while all Cognella texts receive support and general feedback from a project editor, certain projects will receive content-related feedback from the specialist editor who signed them.