Editorial, copy editing (‘copyediting’) and proofreading services are essential elements in the production of a book and any form of written content. A copyeditor is brought onto a project to assure a manuscript reads as well as it can to another person, especially to a target literary agent or publisher. For this reason, even bestselling published authors will always work with an editor.
Working with an editor is the most essential relationship an author can have. The ability of the editor to enhance and upgrade (rather than change the author’s voice, tone and story) mirrors the skills needed to work as a ghostwriter or a good writer. A good ghostwriter is someone who is observant, intuitive, detailed and creative. They are able to ‘actively listen’, not selectively listen. These skills are also essential for an editor – along with total confidence and experience.
The job of the copyeditor is to improve the standard of the manuscript and enhance its professional quality.
A copyeditor will improve formatting, accuracy of text, tone, direction and pace. Copyediting thus ensures that content is accurate while being free of omission, inconsistency and repetition. Editorial consistency is of utmost importance to any writer and this is where a trained copyeditor can help you.
We will clean your manuscript while upgrading the quality and feel of the work, adding a sheen to the finish that develops the first draft into a professional manuscript. Depending on how far along your project is, one of the following editorial services will be advised:
Copyediting or Line Editing
To prepare the text for publication a thorough edit is often needed. Grammar, spelling, punctuation, tense, style, flow, word/phrase overuse, inappropriate vocabulary, repetition and sentence structure will all be addressed during copyediting or line editing. Two or three passes between the editor and client are common, during which the client accepts or rejects suggested amends. Developmental issues sometimes emerge during this process of deep cleaning. This requires a combination of fixing, building and further cleaning, and often warrants several passes.
Heavy Line Editing or Developmental Editing (Structural Editing)
The most in-depth editorial normally involves the prior copyedit/line edit and enters the realms of co-writing or ghostwriting during a work in progress. This is one of the best times for us to join you during development – to prevent any cumbersome structural issues. Having assessed and examined the manuscript, we provide further comments that highlight red flags and areas to explore. If problems inherent in plot, character and overall style have surfaced, then this service is what we will encourage. Making revisions that improve the entirety of the book is what we can do. Rewriting entire sections or creating chapters is common here.
Manuscript Assessment (Critique/Appraisal)
Reading your manuscript and adding notes and comments while typesetting and performing a light edit is a common and necessary first phase of any developmental or heavy editorial work. This is often submitted with an accompanying report or editor’s letter, which will range in size from 2 to 10 pages of feedback for your consideration. We will comment on character, narrative, theme, strengths and weaknesses as well as the market itself in relation to your book.
The proofreader checks for errors and corrects spelling, punctuation and grammar only. A final proof should confirm no errors at all. This final and lightest form of editorial comes last in the production process, once the text has been developed, edited and typeset. In the industry, proofreading happens just before the text goes into production.