Dear Miss Snark,
You've been talking about mark up work as if it's a drag. I love that sort of work. I edit strangers' manuscripts in my spare time.
Is there a position in the publishing business devoted to fighting the good fight against extraneous italics? Would you ever consider contracting outside help to smack a manuscript into shape? Is it just copy editing? The copy editors I've worked with don't know drink drank drunk. I'm familiar with all three. (well Miss Snark is too, but maybe not exactly in the way that you mean here)
The trouble with "outside help" is that it violates AAR rules six ways to Sunday to send any client to an editor for mark up if the editor charges money. This is a rule I fully support because it came into being to prevent authors getting scammed.
Just yesterday I was talking with a colleague and we were bemoaning the tendency to "editorialize" ie markup cause it means we aren't selling. I was laughing about falling in love with a project and wanting to make it perfect and she was chastising me for being an idiot. She was right.
I wish I could send stuff out to a bevy of eager markers but as it stands, y'all got to do that on your own. My colleagues have put me on "editorial intervention" and my first call is from one of them saying "do not pick up the red pen, do not pick up the red pen". In fact, I have to mail ALL my colored markers to the Home for Wayward Bunions today. A sad day in Snarkdom.