The Copy-editing of Conspiracy Theories

As of yesterday I can happily say that the copy-edits on The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories are now complete. Roll on the end of the month when the “happy” process of indexing the book over the course of a fortnight can begin in earnest.

I’m not sure what the formal relationship between an author and their copy-editor should be, but I decided that I was allowed to do a little, light rewriting. Not too much: I allowed myself the luxury of rewriting one paragraph every chapter and tightening some sentences. In a few cases it was absolutely necessary: from time to time I would find a referent “it” that was misleading (or confusing) and from time to time it wasn’t clear what moves I was making. Thus a light rewrite here, a small change in text there.

I did have to resist the temptation to rewrite everything: the two months between submission of the manuscript and seeing the copy-edited prose has done me no favours whatsoever. While I don’t think of myself as a sloppy writer, sometimes the text tends to show evidence otherwise. Of particular note was the bibliography, which I just allowed Endnote to generate. This, it turns out, was a mistake (as was not asking whether I could have submitted the text as a TeX file).

Still, it’s in, now. As is the final(ish) cover design for the book. Let me show it to you:

Cover design for

I think it looks rather nice, especially since I commissioned it. Artistic thanks to Tim Denee, whose work in this matter has not gone unrewarded.


About Matthew Dentith

Author of "The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories" (Palgrave Macmillan), Matthew Dentith wrote his PhD on epistemic issues surrounding belief in conspiracy theories. He is a frequent media commentator on the weird and the wonderful, both locally and internationally. On occasion he can be caught dreaming about wax lions but, mostly, it is rumoured he works for elements of the New World Order.