Many first-time authors become a little nervous at the thought of somebody editing their book, but there is absolutely no need. Your editor is on your side, and is just as keen to publish a good book as you are. Your editor will fix up spelling mistakes, inconsistencies, incorrect grammar and other errors, but will also do much more than this. Your MHP editor will:
- suggest additions where more information is required
- suggest deletions where you’ve included something unnecessary or repeated something
- assist with any copyright concerns you may have
- discuss with you changes that will improve your writing.
Because you’re self-publishing, you have the final say in what goes in your book, but it’s always a good idea to give serious consideration to the feedback from your editor.
There are four different stages of editing, though not every book will need every one. The stages are:
- manuscript assessment (optional)
- developmental editing (optional)
- copyediting (essential)
- proofreading (essential).
Copyediting and proofreading are essential to produce a high-standard book, but not every book requires a manuscript assessment or developmental editing. After having a look at your manuscript, we will be able to advise you on what editing is required.
A manuscript assessment is when an editor reviews your book and advises you on what improvements can be made. Most authors don’t have this done. It’s most useful in the early stages of your writing if you need some guidance.
The editing process proper begins with a macro view of the content of your book, called a ‘developmental edit’ (or sometimes a ‘structural edit’). This is where the editor reads your book and provides feedback on the content and overall structure. This is an optional step for authors who would like some additional assistance. It is most useful if you have finished your first or second draft and you think you need some help organising the book into a logical structure. Your editor will read your book and provide feedback such as the following:
- highlighting where your book may benefit from additional information
- pointing out any repetition
- suggesting re-ordering, addition or removal of chapters
- suggesting any significant areas of text that could be removed.
Copyediting is where your editor will start to focus on the text in more detail. You’ll work closely with your editor to make your book as good as it can be.
Proofreading is the final step in the editing of your book. It’s the final check for errors by an editor or proofreader who has not previously read the book. This provides a fresh set of eyes.
How will my book be edited?
The first step is that your editor will discuss your manuscript with you and ask if you have any particular areas of concern; for example, would you like more headings added, or is there a chapter that you think could be shorter?
Next, your editor will provide a small sample edit for you to consider, usually of around three to six pages. The purpose of this edit is to establish that you are happy with the level of changes being made to your book, before the book is edited in its entirety. Most of the time our self-publishers are very happy with the edit sample, but occasionally they request that more or fewer changes be made – which is precisely why we do the sample edit.
Once the appropriate level of editing has been agreed upon, your editor will edit the remainder of the book. Once this is complete, the file will be emailed to you for checking.
The edit is done in Microsoft Word, with changes ‘Tracked’. This is a feature that allows you to see all the changes that we have made, and for us to see any changes that you make. You will receive more information about this when the completed edit is sent back to you.
Like to learn more about editing? Book a 30-Minute Discovery Call.