A popular post from May 2014
By Heather B. Moore
At the recent LDS Storymakers Writers Conference, I taught the class on Navigating the World of Revisions (without burning your manuscript to a crisp).
No matter how many books you write or how many you have published, you
will still have to go through editing. And it will be painful every
time. Not that you won't see the value of it, but it's work--hard work.
Here is a run-down of what to expect when working with a traditional publisher. If you are self-publishing, you need to also mirror this editing process because you are now competing with the traditional publishers.
1. Beta Readers. When do you need Beta Readers? Always. Change up your
beta readers with each manuscript. Customize to
your subject matter. Vary your
readers, ie another writer, someone knowledgeable in subject,
someone who is a good technical editor, those in your target market, the most
outspoken person in your book club.
2. Critique Groups: Pros: several
opinions at once, motivational, accountability, great support system. Cons: time
investment, give and take, differing visions and goals.
3. Acquisition Editors: First to
review query or manuscript and determines if
manuscript is a possible fit. Rejection a
high possibility at this stage. Sends to
evaluators or next stage acquisitions. Usually is the
contact person with author until book is accepted.
4. Content Editors (Developmental Editors): Once your book
is under contract, you’ll be assigned an editor (in house or on contract). Developmental
Editor focuses on structure, plot, characterization, conflict, pacing, etc. You are
typically given 2-3 weeks to work on revisions.
5. Copyediting: You’ll have 1
or 2 copyeditors go through your manuscript. Technical
considerations, sentence structure, punctuation, grammar, consistency errors. Some
publishers let you review the copyedits, some don’t.
6. Proofreading: Proofreaders
look for errors and any formatting issues in the typeset version. I always ask
for a chance to proofread as well. Then I double
check that my corrections were put in correctly… Each stage of
editing presents an opportunity for new errors to be made.
editors are those who work for the publisher, usually at their on-site
location, for 40+ hours a week. They only have so many hours they can spend on
each project. Contract
editors are often used when there is a large line-up and the in-house editors
are swamped. Contract
editors are freelancers who may or may not have regular work from the
publisher. They may be commissioned for any of the editing stages.