Sunday, August 14, 2016

Getting What I Pay For

This post is more of a rant/something for those I choose to employ.  As anyone with more than an ounce of sense and more than a day of writing can tell you, you should always have a professional copyeditor look over your novel before publishing it.  The end product will be so much better, and you'll avoid the sloppiness that marks a lot of indie work.

That said, when I employ a copyeditor, I'm asking for that person's skills in making sure my work is coherent from a structure and grammar/spelling point of view.  That's what I paid for.  I'm not looking for editorial suggestions - I have beta-readers for that, and I don't like it when someone decides to give me an opinion I didn't ask for.

I'm co-writing a political piece - yes, I know, I know...stay out of politics, but this isn't being published under my real name(we're using a pseudonym) - and we submitted it to a copyeditor.  This copyeditor did a great job helping to improve our work in the ways we requested, but she added commentary in a few places.  I was livid!

Maybe I'm overreacting, but I didn't ask for editorial comment.  Had I wanted a content edit, I'd have paid for a content edit, I'd have been expecting it, and I might've chosen the editor differently.  When this person did what she did, I felt like she was overstepping her bounds.  Did she not know what we were looking for?  Or was she so pushed by what we wrote that she felt she just had to say something?  I get that we live in a polarized culture, but I was floored that she interjected her opinion in an area I didn't ask for.  Shouldn't a professional be able to put feelings aside and concentrate on the task at hand?  Yes, vent to others in your inner circle if you must, but keep the content of what you're supposed to be doing in mind.

Like I said, she did a great job on structure, re-wording, and awkwardness in the piece; I just felt taken aback by the decision to insert commentary where my partner and I never asked for it.  Am I wrong here?  How would you react?

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