Now the fun job – book editing and proofreading! Let’s presume you are already in the book publishing process with Ocean Reeve Publishing. Your manuscript has been appraised. You have addressed the recommendations. You are now ready and confident to move forward with the editing of your book. This is the next step in the publishing process.
Before we pass your manuscript to our team, we would like you to go through a self-editing process. This is where you reacquaint yourself with your manuscript. Primarily, to correct mistakes you didn’t catch while writing. Thankfully, the appraisal process means you have had a break from the manuscript. So, revisiting it with fresh eyes will be a healthy exercise. You might find a few typos or you may rewrite sections. It’s up to you but we do recommend this to ensure efficiency once in the process.
We now begin the editing process. Our trained and qualified book editors begin to make your manuscript the best it can be. You may be thinking that your book is great already, but here’s the reality. You’ve spent so long with your book that you’re too close to it. Your future readers, however, are not. Professional book editing ensures your words portray the message as intended. To achieve that, we need a team of experts to dig deeper into the manuscript.
The Book Editing Process
Ocean Reeve Publishing has a comprehensive process in the book editing stage. We tend to follow a similar system that traditional book publishers put in place. We feel many self-publishing companies do not spend enough focus on editing.
First, we have one of our top structural editors look at the manuscript. Here they will examine the big-picture matters. In nonfiction genres, this may include improvements in clarity, structure, or argument. In fiction, a structural editor focuses on plot development, character development, and dialogue. Of course, this is amongst many other things. Each stage of the book editing process has a specific purpose.
1. Structural Editing
Full structural editing can also be known as substantive or developmental editing. This is the most comprehensive editorial process and the only step above this is ghostwriting. A structural edit does not involve checking for punctuation, spelling, or grammar as this falls within the scope of the copy editor’s role. However during structural editing, the consideration to the actual sequence of sentences, phrases, and paragraphs as well as their logical and orderly flow, sometimes opens up typographical concerns. The full structural editor may choose to address these during their edit, but it is not the focus.
The structural editing process is not about changing the voice of the author or rewriting the manuscript, but more a helpful and positive edit ensuring you, the author, receive constructive feedback and improvement recommendations. This process assists with correcting and improving your work to meet both the target reader’s needs and Ocean Reeve Publishing’s editorial style.
Finally, any plagiarism is identified with a suggested course of action, which could include rewording, referencing, or seeking permissions. Any other passages that are quoted, referenced, or sourced from other material are identified and referenced correctly, and to confirm they are within fair use guidelines. If outside these guidelines, a definitive statement is made to you to seek permissions.
Any people, places, situations, or experiences that identify others (living or dead) need to have permissions secured or waived, disclaimers added, and/or considerable changes recommended (with appropriate suggestions) to ensure you, as the author, will be safe from any legal recourse.
2. Light Structural Editing
Light structural editing (aka line editing) is a stepping stone for authors who have previously had structural editing completed elsewhere, have cost parameters not allowing them to proceed with a full structural edit, or have been identified through the appraisal process as ready to proceed into editing.
Please note that through the Assisted Independent Publishing process and to ensure your publication can meet industry standards for promotion through our distribution network, light structural editing is a necessity.
During a light structural edit, there is a requirement to review typographical and grammatical errors; however, it is not the primary focus of this edit. The light structural editor will primarily make suggested changes to sentence structure, clarity, sense, and flow – including ensuring that there is presentation clarity and flow cohesion. The editor evaluates if the content is comprehensible to the reader with the appropriate tone, language, and terminology – including ensuring chapter arrangement is logical, the length is appropriate, and that the text has cohesive flow.
Additionally, any plagiarism located in the manuscript will be identified to you. Any other passages that are quoted, referenced, or sourced from other material will be identified and you, as the author, will be directed to reference correctly and within fair use guidelines. If outside these guidelines, a definitive statement is made to you to seek permissions.
Any people, places, situations, or experiences that identify others (living or dead) need to have permissions secured or waived, disclaimers added, and/or considerable changes recommended (with appropriate suggestions) to ensure the author will be safe from any legal recourse.
3. Copy Editing and Proofreading
The copy edit and proofread process is the final step before the manuscript hits the design phase. Whilst all editorial stages are highly important, this stage is critical and the right time and focus needs to be applied. Ocean Reeve Publishing aims for a 99.96% error-free rate. This means, that out of a 50,000-word manuscript, it would be feasible and allowable to have no more than 20 typographical errors.
The copy editor (who is actually a different person from the full or light structural editing process) will review the manuscript for inconsistencies, such as instances of unclear or weak phrasing, awkward repetitions, and deviations from the Ocean Reeve Publishing style guide. They will also be thoroughly reviewing the manuscript to find and address any typographical concerns, missing spaces, grammatical errors (e.g. subject-verb agreement problems, incorrect word choices, improper punctuation usage or errors, and incorrect spelling), as well as any light formatting errors. They also make sure the document adheres to the chosen style guide. This edit is a micro-level editorial process and is vital.
4. Post-Format Proofread
The post-format proofread is the final step prior to producing a physical proof copy. The proofreader (who is actually a different person from the full, light structural editing, or the copy-editing process) will focus purely on spelling and typographical and grammatical concerns. If the author has been through a light structural edit, copy edit, and is now at this point in the process, it should be a relatively quick process.
The Review Process
During each of the editorial stages just mentioned, we send you the manuscript with the recommendations and suggestions. They will show as marked-up changes on your manuscript ready for you to review. We also send a guide to manage the editing process. This is to help you manage the changes as an author at this stage of the book editing journey. To further assist, here are two videos teaching you how to manage track changes using a PC and also using a MAC.
Remember, you don’t have to take on all or any of the suggestions. However, you are paying for this professional guidance for a reason. Therefore, we recommend you look into each suggestion objectively. You need to ensure your decision is for the best of the book and it’s intending audience. After all, your readers will be critical if fundamental structural issues aren’t addressed.
Now we reach a very important stage in not only the book editing process, but also in the book publishing and marketing journey. This is where we encourage you to seek out beta reader reviews. Beta readers are volunteers who will read your book and provide feedback. They’re not substituting the role of the book editors. They are a fresh set of eyes and may spot a few things we have to review. When it comes to finding beta readers, we want people who are familiar with the subject or enjoy the genre. Ensure you give a firm time frame for them to get back to you. The reason being is that we will be continuing the book editing process while these reviews are happening.
All the book editors we use in the book publishing process are in Australia. So their focus will be on Australian/UK English. However, we do have international editors we call on when we are publishing for the US market. The costs are dependent on word count. As a guide; a 50,000-word manuscript is likely to cost you $1600AUD, as an estimate, to go through our standard 3-Stage Editorial Process (light-structural editing, copy-editing and proofreading, and the post-format proofread). A 100,000-word manuscript would be closer to $3200 and this is regardless of topic, genre, or subject. Moreover, professional book publishing should always implement a comprehensive book editing process. Ocean Reeve Publishing does exactly that. Step above the self-publishing companies bare minimum and invest in quality book editing.