Following are six key factors that affect the quality of a book edit.
- Identify which style manual should guide the editing and whether the editors have expertise in applying that style. The Chicago Manual of Style is the publishing industry standard for most books published for the general public or for a niche within the general population. Self Publishing, Inc. helps authors determine the best style guide to use and assigns editors with expertise in applying that style.
- Find out whether the editing is done by a U.S. citizen and native English-speaker or by someone in the Philippines or elsewhere. Many companies have their editing done offshore to save money even though the editing is of lower quality. Our company only uses U.S. citizens in the United States who are native English-speakers. Our editors are chosen using a very stringent selection process.
- Determine whether the editing is done by a professional and experienced book editor or by several editors in an assembly line where one editor goes through and checks for one kind of editing issue and another editor goes through and checks for another kind of editing issue. It is best to have a professional, experienced book editor working on the entire manuscript, making sure that the author’s message and goals are being achieved rather than an assembly line of editors. Self Publishing, Inc. does not have an editing assembly line. Our experienced book editors invest themselves heavily in the manuscripts they edit, ensuring cohesiveness and consistency throughout the manuscripts. Book editing is a specialty. Many “editors” are not book editors and have no clue about publishing conventions for books. They might be magazine editors or English teachers or corporate editors earning extra money by editing book manuscripts even though they aren’t applying the right style guides or the right publishing conventions. And many of those editors don’t even know what they don’t know about book publishing. That’s why Self Publishing, Inc. employs only the best qualified and professional book editors to handle our author’s manuscripts—and they don’t do their work on an assembly line.
- Find out whether they have a quality assurance process and if so, learn what that is. Is the work of one editor checked by another editor? The best editing processes involve at least two editors, with one editor doing a quality assurance check on the work of the initial editor(s). Self Publishing, Inc. has a two-phase quality assurance process; at least two editors see the edited manuscript before it is delivered.
- Know what kind of an edit your manuscript is getting and be sure it will address the editorial needs of your manuscript. You should know what level(s) of editing and how many editorial passes you are getting. Be sure that the editing service you have ordered is appropriate for your manuscript. What kinds of editing issues will the editor address? Is an editor checking only spelling and punctuation, or will the editing process also ensure that content is clearly communicated? Self Publishing, Inc. offers levels of editing that are clearly defined so that authors understand the kind of editing they are getting. We encourage authors to begin with an Editorial Analysis so they can ensure that the level of editing will meet the needs of their manuscripts. http://www.selfpublishing.com/editorial/editorial-analysis/
- Ask whether the editor(s) selected for your manuscript specialize in the level(s) of editing you need and in your genre. Book editors have different editing specialties in terms of the types or levels of book editing they perform and the genres they are best at editing. We are careful in matching manuscript editing assignments with editors, as we want to ensure a good fit in each case.
If you get satisfactory answers to these questions before ordering editorial services, you are more likely to be happy with the results.
Your book’s editorial integrity will be one of the primary factors in its success. A snappy title and attractive cover will only carry your book so far. If the writing ultimately disappoints your readers, you will lose the all-important positive word of mouth and referrals that are so important to any author’s ultimate success. As the author and publisher of your own book, you will determine the quality of every aspect of your published book. At Self Publishing, Inc., you have the opportunity to publish the best book you can in a fashion that most closely matches that of a traditional publishing company.