Nowadays, specialty services that support certain industries and fields abound. It had been adopted now by the publishing industry. They are called editorial services and they are run by free lance writers and editors themselves.
For a fee (mostly modest, and some outrageous ones), these companies and groups (and single proprietorships) will edit, proofread, and polish your manuscripts into a more professional-looking, error-free work, and consequently more appealing to publishers.
New writers and other newcomers are somewhat wary as yet to this new setup in the publishing industry. The following are some selected questions and answers for reference.
The questions are mostly consolidated queries from those writers who are curious with the service and are still undecided to try. The answers are also consolidations of opinions from editors.
Do I need a book editor?
If you intend to submit your work to publishers, you should eliminate all possible reasons for rejection, short of their total dislike of your work. Manuscripts are rejected for the simplest of reasons – a misplaced comma, confusing grammar, etc. You only have one chance to impress a publisher. A professional edit can help. In self-publishing, your book needs a professional polish from experienced editors.
What should I expect from a book editor?
The edit does not guarantee your chances of publication. The quality of your rewrite incorporating the editorial advice will help determine your level of success. You may have to perform a thorough rewrite, too, if instructed to do so.
How does one select a book editor?
Get someone or a company of editors with concrete track records in publishing, or had worked within the industry. Check their credentials. Do not confuse editing with proofreading. Any decent English professor can proofread your manuscript just as good as any. They just are not qualified to address a manuscript through the eyes of the publishing industry.
How long does the entire book editing process take?
It depends on the length of the material. Articles, reports and the like take shorter turnaround time. Book manuscripts (with regular book lengths) would take around two to three weeks. In each case, editors will tell you the approximate time period of the editing just by knowing the length of your piece.
Are formats that important?
They are very important. Editors at publishing houses would not take a second glance at your manuscript if it does not look the way they expect it. Basic formatting reflects the exacting taste of the industry. Properly formatted manuscripts have enough space for editorial notations and are easier on their (harried) eyes.
Are there dishonest editors – subcontracting jobs, exorbitant fees, sloppy work?
For your peace of mind and protection as well, verify a prospective editor’s credentials. Also check out Preditors and Editors, a site is devoted to warning everyone on dishonest people in the industry.
There still seems to be a problem with my manuscript that had already been edited. Do I invest in another edit?
If you feel that your manuscript still needs another run-through, go for it. We encountered manuscripts that had been previously edited that looked like they have never been touched at all, what with all the errors and flaws.
There are still so many issues regarding editing and your manuscript and those pertaining to the editorial services groups shouting their wares on the Net. If you are a writer, it is best to get acquainted with this trend in the publishing scene.