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How to Approach Editorial Services in Right Fashion

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Mar 23, 2018

Editorial work is highly subjective, as no two editors are ever similar; each one has his or her unique way of working. Though The Chicago Manual of Style is widely considered to be an editor’s bible, it is acceptable to break a few rules sometimes, as maintaining consistency is of paramount importance. Editors vary on multiple accounts—some edit fast while others work at a leisurely pace. Some charge by the hour (it could range anywhere from $30 to $300 per hour), while others do so by the word. Some editors need to read the whole manuscript before they begin their editing, while others edit as they read along.

Then there are some people who claim to be professional editors who have taken a course in The Chicago Manual of Style, have worked on a conventionally published book, and also in publishing but, in reality, may not have done any of these. Moreover, the value of editing is also comprehended in varying ways. The following breakdown shows how the publishing industry largely views the different levels of editing:

Developmental/Substantive Editing, which addresses the following:

  • Structural issues (content reorganization, removal, and addition)
  • Plot flow
  • Point of view
  • Pacing
  • Any other big-picture questions an author has about whether his or her book “works” as is
  • Dialogue, scene, and character development
  • Narrative and character arcs
  • Sequencing
  • Transitions

Copyediting/Line Editing, which addresses the following:

  • Adherence to The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition
  • Grammar
  • Syntax
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Minor language corrections

Proofreading, which addresses the following:

  • Adherence to The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition
  • Punctuation and grammatical errors remaining or introduced after copyedit is complete
  • Formatting errors/inconsistencies
  • Spelling

Assessment (also known as a “cold read”) is another separate editorial service many editors offer. It is basically a read-through of the work, involving a written account of what works and what does not, intending to help authors revise certain aspects for improvement as well as highlighting the good work done by them.

Some editors also offer coaching services that involve connecting with authors verbally to offer their opinions and thoughts and at the same time to guide authors through their journey to make their books better, stronger, and more saleable. Authors stand to benefit immensely from such verbal and written assessments, as they save a lot of their time and effort.

Why design trumps editorial services

Despite its immense significance, editorial work is largely undervalued. Most authors prefer paying good money for design and hence pay less for editorial work. At the same time, many authors believe that they’re good editors themselves simply because they write well.

The reality, however, is that it is extremely crucial that an author has somebody who is willing and ready to be tough with them. It’s in the best interests of the author to employ an editor whose job is never to flatter and smooth talk him or her in order to take home a fat paycheck but to turn the draft manuscript into one of the best books it can conceivably turn out to be.

Here are a few editorial best practices for authors to consider:

  • Always get at least two levels of editing done.
  • The best money you’ll ever spend is on the editorial cost, so rethink before you choose to spend less on your editor.
  • Check if an editor can do a sample edit for which a payment may be decided. This would help you decide if you like his or her editing style before you actually have him or her edit your entire manuscript.
  • Gauge work experience by checking with your editor about any prior work he or she has done, especially on books in your genre.
  • Ask for references, if need be, to find out what published works he or she has edited so far, and talk to some of his or her previous clients to get feedback.

Source : https://www.huffingtonpost.com/brooke-warner/editorial-services-explai_b_8039172.html

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