At this point in your editing journey, your story should be solid, and your writing style should be as flawless as it can be. A true copy edit is not concerned with story; it deals with the technical aspects of your writing. In a cozy mystery novel, that includes focusing on the following things:
Becoming a great cozy mystery author has absolutely nothing to do with your ability to spell a word perfectly. That’s why copy editors exist—to help support you in your goal to publish a novel free of any spelling errors. Our eyes are trained to spot a misspelled word from a mile away so you don’t have to.
This same rule also holds true for perfect punctuation—don’t worry if you haven’t memorized every single punctuation rule there is. We are comma, period, question mark, exclamation point, semicolon, colon, and ellipses experts. We’ve learned all the rules from the appropriate publishing industry style guides so you can spend your time doing what you love—creating amazing cozy mystery stories.
Minor Grammar Issues
Grammar is something that’s typically polished in a line edit, but if we see any minor grammar issues left behind from that stage of editing, we’ll make sure to point them out if they exist outside of dialect/dialogue. However, if the grammar needs are heavy, we’ll more than likely pull back and recommend a line edit first.
Having continuity in your cozy mystery novel is extremely important. This is a particular challenge as an author when you’re dealing with several suspects, alibis, motives, and the crime scene evidence that comes along with the murder mystery. One of the more important—yet often overlooked—roles of a copy editor is to make sure all the facts in the story are accurate and consistent throughout your novel. You might not notice when you call a certain character by the wrong name, but your readers will definitely notice.
Though copy editors don’t format your manuscript for publishing, we work to ensure your final draft is ready for that step. Here are some of the things in your formatting that we’ll work with:
- Chapter Headings
- Page Breaks
- End Notes (if any)
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Table of Contents (if any)
- Epigraphs (if any)
- Font Face and Size
- Italics and Bold Text (if any)
- Smart Quotes
- Indents and Spacing
Copyrights, Trademarks, and Other Legal Issues
We are not lawyers, but we are adept at identifying where a potential legal issue could come up. While we can’t force you to consult an IP lawyer, we can certainly strongly suggest it if we feel like there’s something in your novel that needs special permission from the IP holder. Some of these issues might include:
- Song Lyrics
- Brand Names
- Real Locations
- Real-Life Celebrities as Characters
- Material Quoted Directly from Other Sources
- Use of Characters or Settings from Other Books
We don’t have a lawyer on staff; however, we do have a business relationship with an affordable lawyer/book consultant who will give you a reasonable rate for helping you with these issues.
Copy Editing Pricing
Our copy editing service includes editorial comments on your cozy mystery novel and direct edits wherever appropriate. You’ll receive your manuscript back with detailed editorial comments and resource links (if necessary) to help you guide you through any changes we feel you should make sentence by sentence.
Pricing starts at .008/word