Once you’ve completed writing and self-editing your manuscript, it’s time to have a professional editor, like The Write Editor, perform a substantive edit, which examines the overall structure, organization, and flow of the manuscript. It is not concerned with grammar, spelling, and such; rather, it is concerned with the big picture.
A substantive edit answers the following questions:
- Does the material fit together into a logical whole?
- Does the order of the text flow seamlessly from one idea to the next?
- Is the text tight, precise, concise? Or is it ambiguous and redundant?
- Are the needs/expectations of the target audience clearly address?
- Is the author successful in achieving the book’s purpose (takeaway)?
- Does the novel meet genre expectations?
Copyediting is the process of turning a manuscript into a fine-tuned, publishable product. All manuscripts deserve a thorough copyediting to ensure authors successfully communicate their ideas to readers.
Copyediting applies a particular style to the manuscript, including the following:
- Treatment of numbers
In addition, copyediting pays rigorous attention to other important factors:
- Word usage
It used to be that publishers were responsible for a manuscript’s substantive edit, copyedit, and proofread. Not so anymore. Now agents and publishers expect authors to have put their manuscripts through both substantive edits and copyedits. When I edit a manuscript, I understand the burden on the author these days. So I approach editing manuscripts with my eyes on both the substantive edit and copyedit. That’s why I always go through manuscripts twice, sometimes even three times, to catch the big issues and the small details.
Once your manuscript has been edited, formatted, and is ready for publication, your next step is to have it professionally proofread. It is the final step before a manuscript “goes to print.” It’s a good idea to have your typeset galley proofread, also. You need a fresh pair of eyes to find the details that you overlooked the last five (or ten or twenty) times you read your manuscript. Following is what I look for while proofreading:
- Nonstandard grammar
- Incorrect punctuation
- Inconsistent editorial style
- Incorrect math
- Factual errors
- Inconsistency of running heads
- Bad breaks between lines and pages
- Bad spacing between words and lines
- Errors in page numbering
- Misspells and typos
- Misnumbering and mislabeling
- Word usage (such as affect for effect)
To accurately determine the level of editing your manuscript requires, I offer a free, no-obligation sample edit. This allows you to evaluate my work and determine if we are a good match. When I return the sample to you, I will include a project fee and estimated turnaround.
Contact me today and let’s discuss your manuscript needs!