Wednesday, February 20, 2013
How Much Editing Does Your Book Project Need?
Some of the Author's Corner Panelists surround program host Gail Lara (center) and moderator Robin Quinn (second from left)
Below is my handout (on the different types of editing) from last night's AUTHOR'S CORNER panel. Our program's subject was "Going Local with Your Publishing Resources." I produce and moderate AUTHOR'S CORNER (a FREE event) four times a year in Van Nuys, California, and we address subjects of interest to those writing books. For more on the panel, see my last post. My next AUTHOR'S CORNER will be in May. If you have a project that needs editing, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Write on! Warmly, Your Word Sculptor Robin
Before an editor works on your project, it’s wise to have a sense of just how much editing needs to be done. Having a basic knowledge of the different types of editing can help you make intelligent decisions in terms of budget and your editing assignments.
Types of Editing
Developmental Editing: Editor is involved in the book project as early as possible and as it progresses. The editor collaborates creatively with the author on the concept, general approach, Table of Contents, and what will be covered in each chapter. Chapters may be reviewed as they are developed, or in batches. This type of editing can be helpful when an author needs help focusing and developing their concept before much is written.
Substantive Editing: Here the editor’s work begins after the author has produced a draft of the manuscript. Concerns can include the organization of the total book, organization of the chapters, proper tone and approach for your audience, coverage of the subject, logic and accuracy. Work often addresses reorganizing, editing, rewriting and clarifying the text.
Line Editing: Editor works on a completed manuscript that has a sound structure. A layer of writing is spread over the original writing. The focus could be to strengthen the writing (perhaps English is a second language for the author), to change the tone to a better one for the market, to clarify the meaning, to improve the read/flow, etc.
Content Editing: This type of editing also addresses manuscripts with a sound structure. Here the concern is the content, including the scope of coverage in the chapters (enough info or too much), accuracy, clarity, tone and reader friendliness.
Copyediting: Here the edit comes closer to the end of the editorial process. The manuscript is sound structurally, but needs fine-tuning or a final polish or cleanup. Issues addressed in a copyedit include grammar, punctuation, clarity, accuracy, typos, misspellings, etc. Another important aspect of copyediting is looking at consistency – of tone, punctuation, spelling, and so on.
Proofreading: A review for errors, including typos, punctuation and grammar mistakes, misspellings, extra spaces, etc. There is often a proofread of the manuscript before and after typesetting.
Additional Option: Ghostwriting – Sometimes a draft of a manuscript contains a solid concept but writing that is not professional. In certain instances, it will be easier to hire a professional writer to produce a marketable manuscript than to try to fix what’s already on the page. Or a ghost might be hired to work with a celebrity or busy expert who has a strong book idea (without much written), but no time to produce the total manuscript.
Robin Quinn specializes in nonfiction editing and ghostwriting in the areas of health, self-help, psychology and spirituality. She also works with select fiction projects.