A manuscript typically goes through several different stages of editing. Here are their definitions in the order they are carried out.
If you are unsure what kind of service your manuscript needs, an Editorial Assessment might shed light on the matter.
Also known as structural editing, substantive editing deals with the content of a manuscript and how it is organized and presented. It helps the author to identify and clarify his/her goals and audience for the work and ensures that the story or argument is clear, complete, and well-paced; to this end, the editor suggests changes to structure or the addition of information that might be missing.
Addresses the manuscript line by line to clarify meaning and improve syntax, thus smoothing out the language. This process eliminates wordiness and jargon, improves sentence construction and word choice with rewriting if necessary, and ensures that reading level, voice, or tone are appropriate.
Corrects mechanics of grammar, punctuation, and spelling and ensures internal consistency of style and facts. At this stage, style guide preferences (Chicago, Oxford, etc.) and/or language preferences (Canadian, American, British) are applied to the manuscript. The editor also notifies the author of any permissions that must be obtained.
Proofreading is a final check of the proofs of an edited manuscript. The editor looks for awkward line breaks and page breaks and errors in typesetting or formatting. She also ensures the accuracy of page numbers, running heads, heading styles, and placement of art and tables.
This is a detailed appraisal that outlines a manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses and makes recommendations about the next steps for the author should take.
These editorial services can improve not only books, but also other forms of writing in marketing materials, websites, video games, graphic novels, etc.
Could your work benefit from an outside eye?
Creation of a typed transcript of audio files such as interviews, court transcripts, or medical reports. Text files can also be created for material that is handwritten or for which there is no digital copy.
Do you have material that requires transcribing?
Conversion of the text file of your manuscript to an e-book format (epub, mobi, pdf) for use with e-readers.
Looking to publish your material digitally?
Creation of an index for a nonfiction book. An index is an alphabetical list of relevant information that appears in a book. It groups together and indicates relationships between concepts, and anticipates the reader’s needs.
Do you have a project in need of indexing?
Aiding in the development of a stageplay (or screenplay) with an eye to the specific needs of the medium. In addition to helping to shape the story structurally and stylistically for performance, a dramaturge performs some fact-checking and research and alerts the playwright to any practical concerns that may arise in production. A full and detailed report which, much like an editorial assessment, outlines strengths and weaknesses, makes recommendations about future revisions, and raises potential concerns can be conducted for any stageplay (or screenplay).