We officially put the house on the market today. If anyone knows someone moving to Dayton, let me know, eh? ;-)
I’m looking forward immensely to attending WisCon. I am really going to enjoy the opportunity to discuss some of the problems and misconceptions that authors have with and about copyeditors. Unfortunately, there are a lot of poor copyeditors in publishing. However, many of the practices that frustrate authors the most are things that the copyeditor has no choice about if he or she wants to keep working.
It seems to be a common idea among authors that their editor hires the copyeditor, but that isn’t the case. Copyeditors are hired by a production editor who may have less experience than the freelancers.
You can always tell an inexperienced copyeditor by the fact that they change too much! However, that fault also shows up in inexperienced production editors. At this point, with over a decade of experience in publishing, I increasingly run into situations where the production editor requires me to make changes that I know will aggravate the author. This is a tricky situation, to say the least. If I complain to the editor, the author, or that person’s boss, I’ll never get work from that department again: No one would hire me for fear I’d do the same thing to them. If I refuse to make the changes, I’ll never get work from that production editor again, either. All I can really do in that situation is advise the production editor against the changes as diplomatically as I can. If they insist, I just have to make the alterations and bear with the fact that the author will be annoyed with me.
Fortunately, most production editors don’t require such changes, and I have some wonderful, high-profile authors who appreciate my work and request me for their subsequent books. That makes the frustration on other projects worthwhile. :)