Book editors and their time lines vary. Methods and processes vary too. Here are some things you can expect from me.
Collaboration is an amazing tool that can get you unstuck, keep you motivated, encourage your progress, and celebrate your success.
What it doesnít do is take away your ownership of your manuscript.
Remember, as the author, you have the ultimate thumbs up/thumbs down on each and every change and query in your edit. It is the editorís job to merely guide your hand.
As a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), I embrace their standards.
When working with authors from the UK, Canada, and Australia, I utilize the standards for those countries. I am a member of the Society of Editors for New South Wales (NSW) and the Institute of Professional Editors Limited (IPEd).
I have edited over one hundred books representing nearly every genre, working with authors directly or through publishers. I have worked with new writers undertaking their first books, authors of multiple works, and award-winning and New York Times best-selling authors.
Your edit will by created in Microsoft Word, which can import files from most word processing programs. MS Word contains a powerful Track Changes function that provides complete transparency on every change made in your document.
As a first step, a short sample of your manuscript (usually the first ten to twenty pages and a back chapter) will be reviewed. Not all manuscripts will be accepted, which is often simply a factor of timing with my schedule. A fee estimate for your manuscript will be provided after reviewing the sample. One half of that estimated fee is required to schedule a time slot for your edit.
I will have your manuscript for two to three weeks during the edit. This is a great time for you to take a break from your writing. You will not want to make any changes in your manuscript at this point, even minor ones, as the copy I have will be the master, and the edits and comments will be specific to that version. This writing break will leave you with a fresh eye when you begin working with your edited document.
When your file is returned, your work begins. The timing on this phase is strictly up to you. Some authors let their manuscript sit for a few days, and others dive right in. Some authors take a month or longer for their review, and others finish in a week or two. Keep focused, and set a schedule that works for you.
WHAT YOU WILL SEE
If you have worked with MS Wordís Track Changes before, the look of your revised manuscript will be standard stuff. If this is your first edit in MS Word, you may be surprised.
Microsoft Word displays most tracked changes in red. Text that is simply moved is displayed in green. Right-clicking on a change allows you to accept or reject that change. Comments are located along the right margin and are linked to the text being discussed.
In most cases, your edit will address spelling, grammar, and punctuation as well as changes to sentence structure or form. Some changes may include a query or explanation, which will appear as a comment in the right margin. Comments often suggest alternative wording or point out continuity issues that need to be considered. Comments are a critical aspect of the edit as they indicate decisions you must make.
AFTER THE EDIT
You may have a few questions or need clarification on an issue or a comment as you process your edit. Just reach out. Rest assured, this back-and-forth communication is quite common.
When you have finished processing your edit, send it back. Iíll review your changes and look through your manuscript for any new issues that come to light. Some authors have many questions. Some authors have just a few. Your process will be unique to you.
Iím not the editor, Iím your editor, and Iíll help you through the editing process as much as I can. Unless you have added a significant amount of new content or have rewritten a large portion of the text, continuing questions and clarifications and revisions are included within one year of my receipt of your initial document to be edited. Consider it my investment in good collaboration.
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