Sunday, June 8, 2014

From Idea to Published in 18 Months and Ten Steps. Step 7: Editing
Operation Valuable Fiend
(Arcade Publishing, 2014)
In the series of blogs titled "From Idea to Published in 18 Months and Ten Steps," I have so far covered these steps of the process:
At this point, the bulk of your work with the manuscript is finished. The editor and other staff in the publishing house begin their activities to edit, proof-read and prepare the work for publication. Every house has its own process, so it's hard to generalize what happens now. From my experience, the editor does a first reading of the manuscript you submitted and provides feedback with regards to content, flow, possible areas for expansion or revision. Depending on how extensive these comments are, it may take several days to several weeks to address them.

Once you re-submit the manuscript with the changes, the line editing process begins. Now the editor(s) go with a fine-tooth comb through the text line by line revising, deleting, adding, and changing things. You get to review and decide what to do with these editing suggestions. There may be more than one such cycle of editing.

During the entire editing process, you still have the opportunity to insert or delete content from the body of work. Just make sure you turn "Track Changes" on in Word so that the editor can see your changes and review them accordingly.

Eventually, the editing process ends. Your manuscript has reached 99 percent of its final shape. The editor turns the text files over to the composition staff who paginate it and lay it out to look exactly as it will appear on the printed page. At this point, the publisher may print several advance reading copies (ARC) of your work, typically in paperback, small format versions. You use the ARCs to solicit early reviews of your work and obtain favorable comments some of which will appear on the back of your final book in the form of blurbs. The publisher may also use ARCs to support the marketing and sales efforts.

Once the pagination of the book is finished, the editor will send you the work in PDF format. It is now time to proof it and make sure that everything reads the way it should read. Even though you spellchecked the manuscript and worked with your editor to fine-tune the words, you will be surprised at how many errors may still need to be ferreted out. During the proofing stage, you may also make changes to the text, but their magnitude is very limited now. You may change words or a even a few sentences, but nothing more than that -- every change needs to be checked by the editor to make sure you are not introducing new issues.

After the entire body of work has been finalized and laid out, you prepare the index to reflect the final page numbers and most likely, this will be the final step in completing the text for your manuscript. In parallel, you will have worked to finalize artwork, illustrations, photos, if any, that will be part of your book, which I explain the next Step 8: Artwork, Permissions, Etc.