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 best it can to another person, especially to a target literary agent or publisher and for this reason, even bestselling published authors will always work with a copyeditor, or their—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 – for a good writer is someone who is observant, intuitive, detailed and creative. They are able to ‘actively listen’, not selectively listen and these skills are essential for an editor also—along with total confidence, experience and, ideally, formal education in the English language.
The job of the copyeditor is to increase the standard of the manuscript and increase its professional quality.
A copyeditor will improve formatting, accuracy of text, tone, direction and pace. Copy editing thus ensures that content is accurate and 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 whilst upgrading the quality and feel of the work, adding a sheen to the finish that develops the 1st draft into a professional manuscript. Depending on where your project is at in development 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 where grammar, spelling, punctuation, tense, style, flow, word/phrase overuse, inappropriate vocabulary, repetition and sentence structure are addressed. During a development process, two or three pass editorials are common where clients accept or reject suggested amends. Often developmental issues emerge during this process of deep cleaning and so a combination of cleaning and building often warrants several washes via our editorial department although, indeed, a line or copyedit will also be achieved often in a single pass.
Heavy Line Editing or Developmental Editing (Structural Editing)
These terms can be used interchangeably but the most in-depth editorial normally involves the prior copyedit 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 hard to climb out of structural issues. Having assessed and examined the manuscript we comment and raise issue on big picture 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 here with you that improve the entirety of the book is what we can do. Rewriting entire sections and chapters or creating chapters is common here.
Manuscript Assessment (Critique/Appraisal)
Reading the manuscript and adding notes and comments whilst performing a light edit and typesetting the manuscript is a common and necessary first phase of any developmental or heavy editorial service. This is often submitted with an accompanying report or editor’s letter which will range in size from 2-10 pages of feedback notes 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 correcting spelling, punctuation and grammar only. And a final proofread should involve 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 is published.