Dear Mr. Author:
There are a lot of errors in your manuscript. Not plot holes or lack of clarity, no. Simple things like typos, misspelled words, punctuation mistakes. What happened? It looks like a bomb went off in here.
I’m the content editor, so I’ve been looking past these things; it’s the copyeditor’s job to catch them when you and I are through. I’m not marking them—but I can’t help noticing them.
You should too. Given that there are dozens (no, really, dozens) of just this one thing—form/from errors—you should note what your other common errors are (your dialogue punctuation needs work, for example) and do a search-and-replace before you turn in the manuscript.
Best practices: you always want to turn in as clean a manuscript as possible. :)
Why? There are a couple reasons.
First impressions are important. So when you send in messy work, it makes you look sloppy. Or lazy. That makes it seem as if you don’t care about this project. It feels a little disrespectful, frankly.
Worse, it’s distracting. I’ve already mentioned that I can’t help noticing the mess. But your copyeditor will have to clean it up. If she is all caught up in finding and fixing the nickel errors—things you should have handled—she might miss the five-dollar errors.
Don’t worry—everyone on your editorial team knows how hard this work is. Nobody expects perfection right out of the box. But act as if you care, dude!
P. S. I’ve written about this several times:
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