Monday, November 10, 2014

Dear Book Editor: Just What Exactly Do You DO?

When you decide to have your work edited or critiqued, what are your options? I've resisted posting this because projects and writers differ wildly, and I'm adamant about working on an individual basis to meet authors' and books' needs. This ain't McDonald's; there's no preset Happy Meal Edit menu!

That said, here are some rough guidelines:

I offer a few different levels of service. The most basic is pure proofreading (edits for grammar, usage, spelling, basic consistencies). The next level is a limited critique edit, which includes all the proofreading, along with comments that are basically reader-centered, offering feedback without actually rewriting or re-structuring; this includes suggestions on cutting or expansion. The most comprehensive level includes the first two as well as in-depth critique, suggestions for improvement, suggestions for re-structuring and organizing information, and occasional re-writes if necessary.

In terms of format, I edit in Microsoft Word, using the Track Changes feature. I've found this is most convenient for everyone involved, since it makes the whole process go much faster than on pen and paper (though we can send the paper ms. back and forth via snail mail if you prefer.)

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