A Walk-Through of the Editing Process at Castle Walls
The following is a walk-through of the editing process at Castle Walls Editing.
First, as eager as you are to get your book out into the world, it’s important that you are ready to have your manuscript edited and that you know what kind of editing you need, whether that be developmental editing, line editing, copyediting, or proofreading.
You don’t want to hire someone to proofread your manuscript, for example, if you still think it needs major restructuring. You can read more about the level of editing you need by clicking here.
The more information I know about your manuscript, the better, so this is where it’s helpful to provide a good description of your manuscript and what you would like to have done.
I will respond to your email as soon as possible and request any other pertinent information. At this point, I will also ask for a chapter or section of your work so that I can provide an estimate for the project.
To give you a better idea of the work involved, editors generally edit between six and ten pages an hour, and this number fluctuates based on the kind of editing required and the state of the manuscript.
Your most pressing question is probably (and understandably) about the cost of editing.
Click here for a breakdown of what you are paying for when you hire me to edit your book.
Page count is important, but page count can vary widely because of font, font size, and line spacing, so I will ask for your word count. I will then divide this number by 250 (the number of words on a standard manuscript page).
If your manuscript is 75,000 words long, I will base my estimate on 300 pages (75,000 divided by 250).
In addition to page count, however, the time it takes to edit a manuscript depends on formatting requirements, the state of the manuscript (a manuscript with numerous edits on each page will take longer to edit than one that requires fewer edits), the level of technical detail, and the presence of text features such as footnotes, reference lists, and tables.
Manuscripts have unique needs, and the best way to determine the time it will take to edit your work is to view a sample of the work before providing an estimate.
The fee for editing will also cover the creation of a style sheet (click here for more information about style sheets).
The Deposit and Contract
If we’ve agreed on the terms of work, then we’re ready to go! I require a third of the payment up front and will email you a contract specifying the exact nature of the work.
The deposit can be paid by check or through PayPal.
Submitting Your Manuscript
Now for the easy part. Email me your manuscript and let me work my magic!
This is the point at which you want to be absolutely sure you’re ready to have your manuscript edited. Once the file is sent, that’s the file I will work through to completion. It’s extremely difficult for editors to do their job when the author is reworking portions of the manuscript during the process, and the goal for all of us is to end up with the best possible version of your manuscript.
Editing Your Manuscript
Unless otherwise specified, I will edit in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition) and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition).
If editing in Microsoft Word, I will turn on Track Changes so you can review the edits. I will specify any invisible edits (edits made with Track Changes off). These include edits made to eliminate extra spaces and spaces around returns.
I also use the editing suite available from the Editorium as well as PerfectIt software. These programs help me to clean up the document and identify a wide range of consistency issues. As any editor will tell you, the more electronic aids an editor can use, the more that editor is free to concentrate on sentence structure, word usage, readability, and other such matters.
Macros are another tool I employ while editing. Macros are little programs that run within Word to carry out a variety of functions. One such macro, ProperNounAlyse, pulls all the proper nouns from the manuscript so that you can see, for example, if names are spelled inconsistently. Macros enhance the editing process in innumerable ways.
When copyediting, I do two passes on the manuscript:
In the first pass, I pore over the document and address all copyediting concerns for spelling, punctuation, grammar, style, and consistency. My goal is always to maintain the author’s voice while serving both the author and the reader.
I use Word’s ReadAloud feature for my second pass, which is a cleanup pass of the document. During this pass I look for anything I might have missed, and I fix any issues that may have been inadvertently introduced when making edits.
(Listening to the manuscript is a fantastic way to catch missing words, transposed words, and wrong words. I highly recommend it as a great way to combat familiarity with the manuscript, which can cause you to see what you think should be there rather than what is actually on the page.)
Returning the Job
When I’ve completed work, I will supply you with your manuscript with Track Changes showing (and a separate version with changes accepted, if requested). I also provide the style sheet and an editorial summary with an overview of the edits.
Once you’ve received the completed work, I will invoice you for the remainder of the fee (payable by check or through PayPal).
Keeping in Touch
I wish all authors all the success their hard work deserves, so I always look forward to hearing about your manuscript’s journey into the world!