If you have taken to writing recently and are desirous of publishing the same, you need to make your content measure up to market expectations. Editing can be done at various levels. Clarity may not exist regarding the function or nomenclature of each of these levels. Naming convention is indistinct even to some commercial publishers and eminent editors. There are different levels of editing and you must be aware of the same when seeking professional editorial assistance for your work.
The fundamentals of copyediting
The process of editing is multi-faceted. An editor writes, drafts, collects feedback on the suitability of the content from beta audiences, self-edits, carry out developmental activities, appraises manuscripts, edits each line, copy-edits, proofread and ultimately gets the work published.
Editorial process can be generally categorized into two broad levels i.e. macro and micro.
At the macro stage, developmental editing and assessment of the manuscript are undertaken. The developmental editing process is also known as structural, substantive or content editing. Evaluation of the manuscript is also called as reviewing of the manuscript or critiquing editorial. The macro level takes a comprehensive approach at critically appraising of the work as a non-discrete body. Those editors who are skilled in critiquing the book at the macro level decides on their approach by understanding the overall flow of the book i.e. whether the inherent content is organized like stuff, plotting, character oriented, general outlook, and momentum gained towards the conclusion.
At the micro stage, the editor embarks on line editing of content, copyediting and then eventual manuscript proofreading. The editing activity essentially focuses on each sentence. Textual matter’s coherence and sanctity are judged by appraising each line and word within the entire content. An editor who carries out critiquing of the novel at the micro level makes sure that the reader’s attention is not distracted due to silly errors that are readily evident. The editorial activity focuses around judging the semantic authenticity of words used, presence of solecism, spelling and punctuation errors. The clarity of thoughts presented and readability quotient of the text are judged through copy and line editing. Before going for final publishing, proofreading is carried out to track any bungle-up that has inadvertently gone unchecked while exhaustive professional reviews were being carried out in the early stages.
Terms to be used while seeking editorial assistance
You may find it difficult to figure out the exact terms to communicate details to your editor. To surmount this challenge, you need to clearly spell out your expectations to the editor instead of mulling over what specialized terms to use. Each editor uses different set of nomenclatures to promote the unique services offered by him/ her.
One editor may choose to give a fanciful name to his copyediting services just because he does not contain himself with fundamental proofreading only; rather, quality checking facility is also offered separately before the final publishing of the book.
Some editors may decide to define their services based on the critiquing activities offered by them. If someone is extending help related to copyediting or line editing, he may prefer to put it in the same fashion. An editor may call himself developmental editor if he focuses exclusively on services related to developmental editing.
Other editors may name their services differently based on the extent to which micro or macro level editorial are carried out by them. So, even if they are undertaking developmental copyediting, the service name may not reflect the same.
Many editors’ don’t contain them to a particular genre of editing and offer services that are overlapping in nature. The service nomenclature automatically varies based on not just the inclusions but also the editing proofreading tips and tricks they follow.
Deciding on the service needed
You have to initially form an idea regarding the amendments that are applicable to the manuscript prior to its publication. You need to gain insights to the drilled down level of sentences and words. This would help you in better dictating the kind of services you expect from the editor.
Once you are well-acquainted with the different editorial service options available, you can make an informed and conscious choice after landing at the editor’s site. If, even after this, you are not able to figure out the exact nature of your editorial need, you have to simply cull out a handful of chapters and send them to the shortlisted editors to know about their quotes. In this manner, you would get the strategic advice from the editor regarding editorial activities needed and whether the shortlisted editor is in possession of needful skills.
If you have subjected your manuscript to editing earlier, your strategy needs to be different. If the manuscript has not been scrutinized earlier, it is not advisable to deem it ready in a single pre-publication proofreading.
Ask the editor to offer sample editing of a chapter, which some may offer complimentarily. Sample edits would offer you insights into editors’ skills which would facilitate choosing the best option.
Some important points to keep in mind
You need to concentrate on the actual editing work needed rather than be fussy about the nomenclature.
Rely on the editor whose work excites you
Trust the editor who primarily concerns himself with your genre of writing. Scrutinize the portfolio of editors to know if they have rendered their services for manuscripts similar to you.
Once the editor is finalized, dilate on your needs to the maximum extent possible. If you think that your writing is not crisp or trimmed, or if certain proses have been dealt in an exaggerated manner, you need to share the same upfront for stellar outcomes. If your novel is full of jargons or insincere words, as deemed by you, you need to communicate the same to the editor at the start so as to remain free of unwarranted queries.
Don’t get jittery if your material is criticized, it is just to make your writing more appealing.
If you are chasing perfection, a single round of editing by professionals won’t serve your purpose. Multiple rounds of scrutiny have to done by experts offering copyediting and proofreading services.
Now that you have become conversant with the different levels of professional editing, you can source your work with confidence. There are in fact a lot of experts who can avail complete flawlessness in your manuscript through effective proofreading techniques. Hire the best services to be assured of the unimpeachable class of reasonably cheap proofreading services.