By Heather Moore
Are you dizzy yet?
If you’re like me, your head spins when you’re trying to keep track of the publishing and editing lingo. When you get that first book accepted, you aren't handed a vocabulary list, but suddenly you are speaking a new language.
With my publisher, a manuscript that has reached the final approval stage is sent to three readers. Each reader is gives the manuscript an evaluation. The three evaluations are assessed by the editor, and she pulls out rewrites that need to be done on the manuscript.
Evaluations: a lengthy critique given by a reader hired by your publisher.
So the author reviews the evaluations and does any editing or rewriting. The author also reviews the comments made by the editor and makes sure she focuses on those comments.
Rewrites: editing or rewriting from the comments made on the reader evaluation
Once you turn in your rewrite, the editor you have been assigned to will start his/her job. You may be assigned a contract editor, which is a person who works part-time, most likely out of his/her home.
Then the edits begin. The edit stage is content and line editing combined. For example, with a content edit, your editor might want you to flesh out a character, or address a pacing issue with the plot. The line editing is changes made to grammar, sentence structure, etc.
Once you and your editor have come to an agreement on content changes and line changes, your manuscript will be sent to one or two copyeditors. They will read through the manuscript and mostly make line changes, and sometimes content suggestions.
This stage is also called a redline. It’s basically another word for tracking changes in a document. When the working document is emailed to you, you’ll see the changes the editor or copyeditor has made in a different color. It can be red, blue, or green. And if you make additional changes, your tracked changes show up in color too.
Once the copyedit stage is completed, the manuscript is typeset. This means that it’s formatted to look exactly like it will in book form. I love this stage because it shows you what the pages of the book will look like (minus the cover). The author is given a final chance to read through the typeset version—also called the galley.
This is very important because errors can be found on the typeset that the author didn’t originally put there. Errors can come from the copyediting or disk changer. So be sure to take the time to proof the final galley. In the past, I’ve even divided my books into 100-page sections and passed it out to readers.
The galley stage is also when the publisher will print up ARCs—Advanced Reader Copies. This can be done earlier than the galley stage if the cover is ready. Sometimes if the cover isn’t ready, but the reviewers are on a deadline, the ARC will be printed without the final cover. The cover will contain just the title.
If you are sending a review copy, or an ARC, to a reviewer or journalist, make sure they don’t quote from it. Changes can still be made before the press deadline.
On my last book, I deleted an entire scene between the galley stage and the press stage. So it’s important the reviewer waits until the final book is out to quote anything.