Skip to content

University Press Week

Day #1: The copy-editor

In the first of our University Press Week posts, Newgen North America copy-editor, Amy Schneider tells us how she developed her love for copy-editing scholarly texts.

When I started out as a freelance copy-editor in 1995, college textbooks were my bread and butter. They were usually huge affairs, 800–1,200 manuscript pages, spanning several months in multiple batches. I enjoyed them very much because I could really dig in and immerse myself in both the subject and the work, and I spent less time hunting up projects. The downside was that by the time I got to chapter 45 or so, I was ready to just be done and/or join the witness protection program. It was often a challenge to stay focused for those last several chapters.

knowing that I’ll see the authors’ responses later helps me keep in mind the people at the other end of the Internet who have poured their heart and soul into their work

After a while, though, these textbooks took up less of my workload and I started doing smaller projects: novels, cookbooks, self-help books, and other trade nonfiction. I’ve found it easier to stay fresh by having a variety of (usually) lighter topics and more frequent switching among projects and tasks. Among these smaller projects came my work for the friendly folks at Newgen North America: scholarly books published by various university presses, usually 300–400 manuscript pages.

These manuscripts that I copy-edit for Newgen are often shorter, have fewer structural elements, and cover a variety of interesting topics. I’m often requested to dig deeper and really help the authors clarify their discussions.

Copy-editing for university presses enables me to keep up my skills in editing reference lists and text citations. I always edit the reference list first, to get the heavy lifting out of the way and to ensure that I have the sources correct for checking against the text citations. If there are substantive notes in each chapter, I copy them into one large file, break them up into one source per paragraph, delete “ibids.” and textual content, tag them per chapter, and then sort them alphabetically so “identical” citations are all together. This takes some time and manual cleanup, but then I can use this list as I edit the live files to help me catch a lot of inconsistencies, missing elements, and errors, especially across chapters, that I wouldn’t see if I just edited them from beginning to end.

I do the clean-up edit for Newgen, which most of my other clients do in-house. This process helps make me a better editor. I can see how authors respond to my queries and edits: where I could have explained something more clearly, whether the author accepted my suggested rewording, and how I might change my process to improve it for next time. And knowing that I’ll see the authors’ responses later helps me keep in mind the people at the other end of the Internet who have poured their heart and soul into their work. It can be hard for them to have an unknown freelancer make changes to their content. I hope it makes me more respectful and helps them see me as a collaborator who wants to help them make their work shine: an expert on language and style who “sands off the rough edges” in that area so they can focus on the subject matter in which they are the experts.

Find out more about Amy’s work at

Newgen has a wide ranging pool of copy-editors across the world covering all scholarly subject areas. Contact us today to discuss how our editorial and full service options can help you.

97 thoughts on “University Press Week”

  1. Hurrah! After all I got a webpage from where I be able to actually obtain useful facts concerning my study and knowledge. Maryjane Rockie Clapper

  2. This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look
    forward to seeking more of your excellent post.
    Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

  3. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. Maribel Jard Eldwen

  4. Greetings from Los angeles! I’m bored at work so I decided
    to browse your site on my iphone during lunch break. I love the knowledge you provide here and can’t
    wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast
    your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G ..
    Anyways, very good site!

  5. There is obviously a bundle to identify about this. I believe you made various good points in features also. Lizabeth Delano Pinckney

  6. I’m curious to find out what blog system you happen to be utilizing?
    I’m having some small security problems with my latest site and I would like to find something more
    risk-free. Do you have any suggestions?

  7. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out
    a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.
    games ps4 allenferguson games ps4

  8. It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m happy
    that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed
    like this. Thank you for sharing. ps4 games allenferguson ps4 games

  9. If you are going for most excellent contents like me, simply pay a visit this web
    page daily since it gives feature contents, thanks

  10. Hi there, I discovered your blog via Google at the same time as looking
    for a comparable topic, your web site got here up, it looks great.
    I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hi there, simply turned into alert to your blog via Google,
    and located that it is really informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels.

    I will be grateful should you proceed this in future. Numerous other people can be benefited
    out of your writing. Cheers!

  11. Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted
    keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains. If you know
    of any please share. Kudos! asmr 0mniartist

  12. Heya this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you
    have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding experience so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  13. Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn’t disappoint me as much as this
    particular one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, however I truly thought you would probably have something helpful to talk about.

    All I hear is a bunch of whining about something
    you could possibly fix if you weren’t too busy searching for

  14. Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn’t disappoint me as much as this particular one.

    I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, however I truly thought you would
    probably have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could possibly fix if you weren’t too busy searching for attention.

  15. I was curious if you ever thought of changing
    the structure of your site? Its very well written; I
    love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people
    could connect with it better. Youve got an awful
    lot of text for only having 1 or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  16. Its like you read my mind! You seem to grasp so much approximately this, like you wrote the guide in it or something.
    I feel that you could do with some percent to pressure the
    message house a bit, however other than that, this is great blog.
    A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

  17. Generally I don’t learn article on blogs, however I
    wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so!
    Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thanks, quite nice post.

  18. very good blog~Hello, Neat post. There is a problem together with your web site in internet explorer, could test this¡K IE still is the marketplace chief and a big portion of people will omit your magnificent writing due to this problem.

  19. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your weblog.
    You have some really great articles and I
    feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some
    of the load off, I’d really like to write some articles for
    your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send me an email if interested.

    Many thanks!

  20. Hiya very cool website!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Wonderful ..
    I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds also? I’m satisfied to search out so many helpful information here
    within the publish, we’d like work out extra techniques on this regard, thanks
    for sharing. . . . . .

  21. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I believe that you should publish more about this issue, it might not be a
    taboo subject but typically people don’t discuss these issues.
    To the next! Best wishes!!

  22. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your site provided us with valuable information to work on. You’ve performed an impressive task and our
    whole community will be grateful to you.

  23. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I am going through
    difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it.
    Is there anybody having the same RSS problems? Anyone that
    knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  24. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back in the future.

  25. Hi there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I
    came to look it over. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my
    followers! Excellent blog and great design and style.

  26. I carry on listening to the news lecture about receiving boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the finest site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i acquire some?

  27. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject
    matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an edginess over
    that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the
    same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

  28. A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that
    you need to write more on this topic, it may not be a taboo subject but usually people don’t talk about such subjects.
    To the next! Kind regards!!

  29. Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some
    advice from an established blog. Is it hard to set up your
    own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things
    out pretty quick. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?

  30. Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the internet
    the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get
    irked while people think about worries that they plainly do
    not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal.
    Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  31. scoliosis
    Greetings from Los angeles! I’m bored to death at
    work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break.
    I love the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I
    get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile ..

    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, awesome site!

  32. scoliosis
    Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice whilst you amend
    your website, how can i subscribe for a weblog web site?
    The account aided me a applicable deal. I have been tiny bit
    acquainted of this your broadcast offered shiny transparent idea scoliosis

  33. I think this website is set up very well. It was very easy to find my way around and very user friendly. I love it. Thank you for sharing your blog to us!

  34. This article contains some of the most informative content I’ve read in quite some time. The points of this content are clear-cut and engaging. Thank you so much for sharing!

  35. 카지노게임종류

    The world’s premier guide for online gambling enthusiasts. Trusted reviews, news & strategy since 1995. 120 internet casinos tested for reliable payouts, bonuses & more. 카지노게임종류

  36. 라이브카지노

    Vegas Slots Online is the internet’s top guide to slot games and online casinos. Play thousands of free slots or check out our reviews of the best casinos online. 라이브카지노

  37. 정선카지노

    Casino enthusiasts, enjoy the latest online casino industry news with our daily posts & articles. Follow us for live casinos, slots and sports updates, guidelines, trends, events and more! 정선카지노

  38. 샌즈카지노

    Casinomeister hosts one of the most popular online casino forums, publishes newsletters, webcasts, resolves player issues, and lists safe casinos to play at. 샌즈카지노

  39. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my website thus i came to “return the favor”.I’m
    attempting to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  40. scoliosis
    Hiya very nice blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Superb .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally?
    I’m glad to seek out numerous helpful information here in the post, we want develop more techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing.
    . . . . . scoliosis

  41. free dating sites
    Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better!

    Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I will
    forward this information to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a great read.
    I appreciate you for sharing! dating sites

  42. Hi, I do think this is an excellent web
    site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may return once again since I saved
    as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way
    to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

  43. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you really know what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also visit my web site =). We could have a link exchange arrangement between us!

Comments are closed.