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Importance of manuscript editing

[Approximate Reading Time : 4 mins]

The process of publishing a book involves various individual steps that are aimed at ensuring better readability of your book. These include readying the final draft or manuscript, converting your manuscript into the appropriate format, editing, book designing, formatting, and proofreading.  Of these, manuscript editing assumes special significance given its impact on the final, published version.

Why Edit Your Manuscript Before Submission?

Opting for manuscript editing can help enhance the clarity of your draft and overall flow. Editing helps eliminate errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling that you might have overlooked. You could enlist the help of a freelance editor or a professional editing service to smoothen the rough edges of your manuscript. Getting a pair of fresh eyes to look over your manuscript lets you zero in on any gaps in the story and give it a professional finish before publication. A well-edited manuscript stands a better chance of succeeding than one that is unpolished or filled with errors.

Stages of Manuscript Editing

Manuscript editing is a multi-level process and the type of editing required will depend on your final draft. The four main steps in this process are developmental editing, line editing, copy editing, and proof reading. In some cases, the manuscript may need just one of these services while other may need two or more of these services. Let’s take a look at what each of these entail.

  • Developmental editing – Also known as substantive editing, here, the editor looks at your draft in its entirety. The editor will look at all the building blocks of your manuscript such as the characters, the plot, characterization, and the setting. A developmental editor can help you enhance the strengths of your manuscript while pointing out its weaknesses and ways to remedy these.
  • Line editing – This type of editing looks at every line and sentence of your manuscript and attempts to rectify errors in syntax, use of words, and the meaning. The editor will trim excess use of jargon and keep sentences short and to the point. A line editor will try to ensure smooth flow of the narrative.
  • Copy editing – The purpose of copyediting is to spruce up your manuscript so it reads flawlessly. The copyeditor will also make sure that your manuscript adheres to specific style guides as mandated by publishing houses. Spelling, formatting, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure are some things that the copyeditor will focus on.
  • Proofreading – This is usually the last step before the manuscript is sent for publishing. It is more of a double check for errors that might have slipped through the other rounds of editing. A proofreader will also check for any ambiguity in meaning and factual errors alongside any inconsistencies in the narrative.

Cost of Manuscript Editing

Manuscript editing is a specialized skill and the better qualified an editor is, the more it will cost you. The cost will also depend types of editing required and the urgency involved. In India, editing rates are usually quoted by the page or per word. Hourly rates are reserved for exceptionally lengthy manuscripts.

The complexity of your manuscript and the editor’s skill and experience are two crucial factors in determining cost. For instance, academic books or those that require a good deal of fact-checking will need closer scrutiny and thus, command a higher rate of editing. Similarly, the works of new authors are likely to need more editing and polishing. If your manuscript needs to be edited on an urgent basis, it is likely to cost you more. Similarly, a highly experienced editor will charge much higher than less experienced ones.

Opting for an end-to-end publishing package from a reputed publishing company can prove quite cost-effective and offer a hassle-free experience. Get your book market-ready with a wide range of integrated solutions for self-publishing, including KDP resources, offered by Amnet. To know more, check Amnet Author Services.

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