“AN EDITOR IS A PERSON WHO KNOWS MORE ABOUT WRITING THAN WRITERS DO BUT WHO HAS ESCAPED THE TERRIBLE DESIRE TO WRITE.”
– E.B. WHITE
This is where we give your book the professional polish it deserves with our hand-selected team of highly experienced and specialised Australian editors. Our editorial services include Manuscript assessment, structural editing, copy editing and final proofreading before production and publishing commences.
We’ll work on the full types of book editing for your work from start to finish: proofreading, copy editing, line editing, and developmental editing. We consult and navigate with your input during the entire process.
Proofreading gets its name from the “proofs” typesetters produce before the final print run. The text has been laid out into pages, complete with photos, diagrams, tables, etc. These used to be called galley proofs (and still are when printed), but in these days of electronic publications, they’re more commonly called uncorrected proofs and usually come as a PDF file.
At this point, we will have set the manuscript text into the book’s final format. That means it’s too late to make any major structural changes or delete paragraphs and sentences, as this has a knock-on effect in the subsequent pages. It can cost a lot of time and money to redesign the book after such major changes.
Proofreading comes at the end of the publication cycle. It’s the final check before the book is printed or, in the case of eBooks, before it is published and sent to distributors.
For this reason, proofreading is intended to pick up the final typos and spelling mistakes and to correct inconsistencies, like making sure the word “proofreading” is always spelled as one word and not “proof-reading” or “proof reading.”
In the case of printed books, our proofreaders also look for awkward word splits at the end of a line and ensure there is no ugly single line left at the top of the page from the previous paragraph (known in publishing as a widow) or at the bottom of the page, which really belongs with the paragraph on the next page (orphan).
Proofreading is only done after the raw manuscript has already been edited. Before that, all our books go through the complete stages of editing required…
2. Copy Editing
Copy, in the publishing world, refers to the text. So, copy editing could just as easily be called text editing. It’s a word-by-word edit that addresses grammar, usage, and consistency issues. Our editors will check for typos and spelling errors along with correcting grammar, language, and syntax errors. They will also pay particular attention to punctuation such as commas, semicolons, and quotation marks.
Our editors work on a copy of the author’s manuscript, usually a Word file, using the track changes function and adding comments to explain any changes or make revision suggestions. The author can then go through each of the changes and accept or reject them one by one and make any revisions where necessary. We also discuss in conference with you about the details of our suggestions.
Only when the author is completely satisfied with the plot, story structure, characterisation, settings, etc. is the manuscript ready for copy editing. And nobody, no matter how good, gets all that right with a first draft.
3. Line Editing
Line editing is a more intensive structural edit that focuses on the finer aspects of language – the flow of ideas, transition elements, tone, and style. Line editors expand their efforts to suggest changes to make sentences crisper and tighter by fixing redundancy and verbosity issues, while improving awkward sentence and paragraph construction without a full rewrite. Our editors will look at the manuscript using a holistic methodology with a review of key aspects of the manuscript: the narrative, vocabulary, structure, characterisation, style, and development.
4. Developmental editing
Development editing means the book gets a full, substantial, structural, developmental edit. This will often include everything that’s involved in proofreading and copy-editing, plus a detailed critique of the essential elements of the story (in the case of a novel), which include:
Setting - Timeline - Characterisation - Plot - Story structure - Pacing - Presentation - Marketability
A developmental edit will come early in the publication process, while the author is still in the drafting stage. The author will have rewritten the manuscript a few times before it is ready for a developmental edit. Not every book needs developmental editing from a professional editor. Feedback from our competent beta readers can be enough to iron out all the wrinkles in the book’s structure.
As with copy editing, the editor may use track changes to make revision suggestions directly onto a copy of the manuscript, but the developmental edit will usually include a separate critique document detailing — sometimes chapter by chapter — the changes the author could make to improve the areas listed above.