What do you mean, Don’t look like an idiot?
A professional editor knows the Chicago Manual of Style backwards and forwards and can expound upon the uses of the Oxford comma. Fiction writers seldom need that much firepower.
What readers see are the most common errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation, and those errors are the easiest to fix. Do you mix up their, there, and they’re? Is it the 1990s or the 1990’s? Is it ’90’s, ’90s, 90’s or 90s?
Our editor at raqoon design was one of those annoying children who pointed out errors in published books. She has taken English and Creative Writing courses at the University of California at Berkeley (many years ago) and has updated her skills periodically by taking copyediting classes online.
We encourage you to talk to more than one editor. Most will copyedit a few pages for you to give you an idea of the kinds of things they will find. If you get several edits of the same few pages, you’ll get an idea of who will be the best bet for your project.
Our ‘don’t look like an idiot’ copyedit will fix the things that leap out at readers and shout, “Here’s another bad book by a self-published author.” Whether you have us do the copyedit or hire someone else, please don’t be that author.