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book editing

When you choose to have a COMPREHENSIVE MANUSCRIPT EDIT of your book or short story manuscript, your edit will typically proceed in three phases, each requiring at least one separate pass through the entire manuscript, sometimes more. If you choose a proofreadcopyedit, or developmental edit instead, the phases relevant to that level of editing will be carried out.

1. Content

Your editor's first pass through your manuscript is focused on the content and style of your book. Is it an engaging story? Have you created relatable characters? Is your dialogue believable? Have you chosen the best narrative voice for your story, and have you maintained it consistently throughout? Does the pacing make your reader want to turn the page? Do your images and descriptions show us what is happening instead of just telling us about it? Making edits directly to the text (unless you instruct us otherwise), your editor will develop all of the key elements of your book. Depending upon the degree of editorial involvement that is needed, this phase of your edit may require additional passes through your manuscript before your editor is able to move on to the next phase.

2. Language

Your editor will re-read your entire manuscript, this time focusing on the details of language: grammar, punctuation, syntax, word choice, word order, concision, and fluidity. As a professional editor, s/he will know how to make the language appropriate to the story and the characters, not simply 'correct.' In the process, s/he will maintain your voice, endeavoring all the while to keep your book your own.

3. Formatting

Having read through your entire manuscript several times, what remains is one light pass to address issues of formatting. If your agent or publisher has specific formatting guidelines, your editor will follow those; if not, s/he will employ standard manuscript formatting requirements.  Your editor will then pull together his/her assessment of the book's strengths and weaknesses in the Editor's Report, summarizing the work that has been done and making general observations that are intended to improve not only your current project but also your future writing. 


PLEASE NOTE: Because a comprehensive manuscript edit requires several passes through the entire manuscript, along with cross-checking between sections, it is usually not possible to return chapters of your project piecemeal. However, please feel free to e-mail or call us to ask about our progress and to inquire into our findings while the edit is in underway. Because our manuscript editors are authors themselves, they understand that your book is important to you. They'll be happy to exchange some e-mails or phone calls if that helps to make the editorial process stress-free for you.