Because traditional publishing is so saturated with submissions, and is therefore tricky to break into as an emerging author, many new authors decide to self-publish their first book as a sort of stepping stone into mainstream publishing.
According to Michael Shymanski, one of Ooligan’s Acquisitions Managers, think of your first page as the reader’s initial impression, much like “meeting your friend’s spouse for the first time.” First impressions can be insignificant, even disastrous, or they can be absolute magic. If the magic is there, an editor will know it immediately.
For many new writers, the question is how to break in, get an agent, and get published. Authors can go many months—which can compound to years—without hearing about their manuscripts. How can a writer get noticed and noticed fast? How do you break in without connections? Like with all contemporary remedies, the internet has a hand in getting new authors noticed, and #PitMad is the quarterly Twitter event to get your manuscript picked up and published.
Editors must consider and balance the feelings of two groups of people when suggesting language changes: firstly, they must consider how the reader will react to the language of the original manuscript; and secondly, they must consider how the author will respond to the suggested edits.
Though style sheets can seem confusing at first, they are among the most important tools at a copyeditor’s disposal. As long as you keep your style sheet organized and record all of your decisions related to mechanics and style, you should be all right. (Or is it “alright”? Better check the style sheet.)
There are so many moments to take in during the editing process, but perhaps one of the most basic considerations is HOW it all happens. There are certain things that HAVE to happen, but they might not always happen in the right order or in the same way for everyone. If it happens and it happens well, is the HOW really that important? Maybe. Maybe not.