EDITING: WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW
As an author, you have a vision. You have a unique story to share. If you choose to self-publish your book, you will have the choice of whether or not to work with a professional editor. Professional editing is very important when it comes to your finished project as it becomes a reflection of not just your story, but how well you tell the story.
An editor’s job is to recognize your strengths as an author and help you utilize those strengths to engage your readers. This can be anything from fixing grammar to helping develop more content in specific chapters (outlined in ‘Levels of Editing’ below). Some editing, like Content and Developmental editing, requires more than one round of editing and includes a dialogue between the author and editor.
No matter what the editor may suggest to you, it is your manuscript! You decide whether to accept or reject suggested alterations. You may request a 4-5 page sample edit, and some feedback about how and what the editor believes your manuscript needs along with a quote for the finished work.
LEVELS OF EDITING
1) Proofread/Verification Edit
- What: Spelling, grammar, format/style (MLA, APA, Chicago, AP)
- Where: Line by line
- Description: A proofread/verification edit is a basic edit. This service is for an author who is only concerned with their manuscript being functional for publication. This service is also used as a polish for more thoroughly edited manuscripts. This type of editing should fix typographical errors a spell check will not catch.
- What: Proofread plus syntax, word choice, clarity, and overall flow.
- Where: Paragraph-Chapter
- Description: Copyediting includes proofreading and is ideal for authors who want word choices to speak to the reader more accurately and vividly.
3) Substantive/Content Edit
- What: Copyedit plus structure, content, voice, audience
- Where: Entire Manuscript
- Description: This is the most comprehensive level of editing. The editor delves deeper into the text looking at semantic and pragmatic functions. This type of editing includes comments and reviews of the text in relation to the overall context. Substantive content editing frequently necessitates 2-3 rounds of editing and decision making between the author and editor.