Definition of Contract Terms

Copy Editor:  Susan Kenney

Client:  The author, or authors of the submitted manuscript, or the person(s) who has (have) commissioned the Copy Editor in writing or by e-mail.

Copy Editing:  Editing for grammar, usage, spelling, punctuation, and other mechanics of style; checking for consistency of mechanics and for internal consistency of facts; inserting head levels and approximate placement of art; editing tables, figures, and lists; notifying the Designer of  any unusual production requirements.  Does not include the following unless specified:

  • providing or editing art manuscript                              
  • providing or changing system of citations                      
  • bibliographic editing                                     
  • writing or editing captions or credit lines                 
  • negotiating changes with Author             
  • obtaining or listing permissions needed
  • editing index bibliographic research
  • writing running heads
  • seeking approvals from client’s representatives

Notes:  The agreement should specify whether changes are to be made to hard copy, to the electronic manuscript, or to both.  “Copy Editing” includes stylistic and even structural editing, fact checking, and mark-up only where defined as “Substantive Copy Editing,” “Substantial Copy Editing,” “Intensive Copy Editing,” or “Heavy Copy Editing”; or when expressly agreed between the Client and the Copy Editor.

Copy editing, stylistic:  Clarifying meaning, eliminating jargon, polishing language, and other non-mechanical line-by-line editing.  Does not include the following unless specified:

  • checking or correcting reading level
  • creating or recasting tables or figures
  • negotiating changes with Author

Note:  The agreement should specify whether changes are to be suggested or drafted; if the latter, it should specify whether changes are to be made to hard copy or to the electronic manuscript.

Copy editing, substantive/structural:  Clarifying or reorganizing a manuscript for content and structure.  Does not include the following unless specified:

  • research
  • writing original material
  • negotiating changes with Author

Note:  The agreement should specify whether changes are to be suggested or drafted; if the latter, it should specify whether changes are to be made to hard copy or to the electronic manuscript.

Fact Checking/Citation Checking/Reference Checking:  Checking accuracy of facts and quotes by reference to original sources used by Author or to other reference sources.

Indexing:  Producing a key to the contents of a work.  Includes reading and analyzing the work; choosing subjects, concepts, and other elements that together form a systematic guide to the information contained in the work; arranging these elements into entries consisting of headings and subheadings and their locators (for example, page numbers); and arranging alphabetically or in some other searchable order.

Note:  The agreement should specify whether the Client will provide a style sheet.

Picture Research:  Locating suitable photos or artwork.  Does not include the following unless specified:

  • reading manuscript and composing picture list
  • setting and maintaining budgets
  • searching for artists’ references
  • obtaining pictures and permission releases
  • arranging for and supervising set-up shots
  • editing and choosing pictures
  • writing captions, labels, or source lines
  • organizing pictures for scanning
  • returning pictures
  • negotiating usage fees
  • sending final usage letters

 

Permissions:  Locating source information and obtaining permission releases for copyrighted material.  Does not include the following unless specified:

  • reading manuscript and composing list of permissions needed
  • setting and maintaining budgets
  • negotiating usage fees

 

Proofreading:  Checking proofs of formatted, edited material for adherence to design and for minor, mechanical errors in copy (such as spelling mistakes or small deviations from style sheet).  Does not include the following unless specified:

  • incorporating or exercising discretion on Author’s alterations
  • copyfitting
  • checking accuracy of running heads and folios
  • checking page breaks
  • inserting or checking page numbers to contents and page references
  • marking color breaks
  • flagging or checking location of art

Notes:  The agreement should specify whether proofs are to be read in isolation or “to copy” and whether a style sheet will be provided.  It should also specify whether proofs are first, second (or subsequent), or final pages.  “Proofreading” is often loosely used to include copy editing and other tasks.  It is not so used in this agreement.  These other tasks must be specified.

Rewriting.  Creating a new manuscript or parts of a manuscript on the basis of content and research supplied by Author.  Does not include the following unless specified:

  • research
  • writing original material

Responses

  1. […] I am going to always recommend my editor, Sue Kenney of Kenney Editing Services. Not only is Sue a brilliant editor, avid reader, and professionally educated in English, but also she’s fun to work with and knows how to give just the right amount of structural feedback without becoming overbearing. She’s also a member of my church New Life, which means I have even more trust for her. She is beyond fair in her pricing, and can do as much or as little as you need. […]


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