The technical side of publishing can be confusing and difficult to manage. Finding an editor, knowing when to hire them, understanding what you need to ask them to do and by when…frankly, it’s a minefield.
This is when you need the help of someone is truly on your side, who can ask you the right questions and ensure you get the help you need, rather than the services they want to sell.
Copy editing if the first step in getting a book ready for publication. It is the process of refining the book so it will read smoothly, be consistent in terms of spellings, use of numbers, dates and capitals, and be well-structured and easy for the reader to use and enjoy. A good copy editor will improve your writing but retain your authorial voice, pick up on inconsistencies, errors and omissions and ensure your book is authoritative and well-presented.
Proof-reading takes place once a book has been copy edited, and when all the editor’s queries have been answered by the author and the author’s changes added to the edited book. It is easy to confuse copy editing and proof-reading because they sound very similar. Like a copy editor, a proof-reader checks for errors and inconsistencies. However, the real difference is in the level of reading and the amount of alterations made. While an editor will often be changing every sentence or almost every sentence in some way, a proof-reader will only make changes once on every page or every other page. This is because the proof-reader is looking for the mistakes that everyone else missed: the little typographical errors, the odd misspelling of a name, a heading that is in the wrong font size or a quotation that doesn’t have an attribution.
Project management is a completely different kind of editorial function: as the name suggests is it more about managing the process than doing any work on the book itself, although the project manager often does do the bits of editorial work that others either can’t do or are unwilling to do because it is fiddly and annoying. The project manager’s role is to brief the editor, designer, proof-reader and any other freelance worker who is involved with the book. They are also responsible for managing the schedule, ensuring the work commissioned meets the required standards and, of course, ensuring the author is fully briefed about the progress of the book and fully informed about its progress. If you have never published a book before, investing in a project manager will save you time and money, and reduce your stress levels.
How to Book a Service
Every book and every author is different. For that reason, I do not have standard fees for my editorial services. This is because standards of writing vary hugely. For example, if I am copy editing, one book of 40,000 words may need minimal work and will only take me 10 hours while a book of 20,000 words may need extensive work and take me 30 hours.
If you would like to use of any of my publishing services, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know which service you are interested in. If you’re not sure whether you need a copy editor or a proof-reader, simply send me a sample of your work and I will advise you. If you would like to talk through your requirements, please contact me so we can arrange a mutually convenient time to speak. In general, I use Skype for these kinds of calls but other options are available.
If possible, whenever you make an enquiry, please give me as much information as possible about your book, including:
- Title (or working title)
- Length in words
- Date you plan to send your book to me
- Date you need to get your book back from me
- Your proposed publication date
- The format you are planning to publish in
You may not have all your ideas worked out in detail, but just give me as much information as you can.