Here’s a few things we’d like to share about editing:
Seven Deadly Myths and 3 Inspired Truths About Book Editing, by David Kudler at Stillpoint Digital Publishing, as published here.
A brief overview of the editing process:
Please contact us via the website contact button, or through email or social media to discuss your specific editing needs.
Sin Sisters goal in editing is to make a good story great, and a great story spectacular. Professional editing is a step in the self-publishing process that should NOT be skipped, or rushed, and should never be undervalued. Great editing can mean the difference between 3-star reviews because readers were confused by the story or distracted by typos and lost without appropriate transitions or an unclear sequence of events, and a 5-star review because the reader was invested in the characters journey and captivated until the very last page, left awestruck and reeling from a well-written story.
A quality edit of your manuscript should begin when you feel the first draft is finished, and the majority of your story is in writing.
- Complete your 1st draft, and edit it for anything you find. Then contact me and arrange to send to your Sin Sister Editor.
- Editor works through draft, makes corrections and comments where needed. For example, I’m a content editor, so I always look for details, timeline, etc. I will also do a good deal of the line editing during this read-through.
- The edited draft with my recommended changes will be sent back to you, and you’ll then have the opportunity to review each change and implement/reject the suggested change, review notes notes/comments and make any other changes you may find necessary. At this point it’s recommend letting the manuscript rest for a few weeks, then you come back to it and re-read the entire thing with fresh eyes. If you feel that it needs another round of edits, make your changes, and send back to the editor when you feel that it’s complete and ready for final edits.
- This should be the “3rd” draft, which, once edited, and those changes implemented, should result in your FINAL draft.
- After that, you may choose to have a proofreader review your manuscript at this point, to have a fresh set of eyes on the final document before you begin finalizing it for formatting and publication.
- There is always room for negotiation in the process, but I’ve found through experience that this is the minimal steps necessary for a self-publishing author to complete a quality manuscript. This process should not be rushed. That’s not to say that a deadline isn’t important or shouldn’t be set, but it’s more important to be realistic and not force the process, especially for a new writer. Setting a blog tour date or a pre-order for a first-time author, (or a release date before the first draft is complete) is recipe for failure, and isn’t as important as getting the first book in an intended series right and ensuring that the writing is solid and lends well to the future books planned in the series, for example.
The finer points of the process, including any custom/specialized work the project may require, Sin Sisters’ Editing fees and the overall terms of the project will be outlined and agreed to in written contract between the author(s) and editor(s).
About Sin Sisters Editing Services:
Sin Sisters Editors make every attempt to be consistent and thorough in all projects. In order to accomplish that we subscribe to a step-by-step process, outlined above, in addition to the following standards of writing and publishing found in the following guides:
- The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition (see below for more info)
- Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition
- A Writer’s Reference, Seventh Edition
- Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers, by Scott Norton
Tools of the trade:
- Microsoft Word with Track Changes/Comments
- Scrivener, software for writers. Discover more about Scrivener software here. (All Sin Sisters Editing occurs in Microsoft Word with Track Changes for ease of use for all parties)
Interested in utilizing us for your manuscript development? Contact us: SinSistersBookClub@gmail.com
Questions about specific format or usage guidelines? I subscribe to the Chicago Manual of Style’s website, and can answer questions for you or research specific concerns. If it’s something out of the ordinary, just contact me and ask. I’m happy to help.
The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/
Manuscript editing as opposed to developmental editing
Manuscript editing, also called copyediting or line editing, requires attention to every word and mark of punctuation in a manuscript, a thorough knowledge of the style to be followed, and the ability to make quick, logical, and defensible decisions. It is undertaken by the publisher when a manuscript has been accepted for publication. It may include both mechanical editing (see 2.46) and substantive editing (see 2.47). It is distinct from developmental editing (not discussed in this manual), which more directly shapes the content of a work, the way material should be presented, the need for more or less documentation and how it should be handled, and so on. Since editing of this kind may involve total rewriting or reorganization of a work, it should be done—if needed—before manuscript editing begins.
Mechanical editing involves the consistent application of a particular style to a written work—including text and documentation and any tables and illustrations. The central focus of part 2 in this manual, style is used here to refer to rules related to capitalization, spelling, hyphenation, and abbreviations; punctuation, including ellipsis points, parentheses, and quotation marks; and the way numbers are treated. Mechanical editing also includes attention to grammar, syntax, and usage. The rules set forth in a style manual like this one may be supplemented by a publisher’s house style or the style of a particular discipline. Journal editors in particular follow a journal’s established style, augmented by additional resources specific to the subject area. Books in a series or multivolume works should all follow one style consistently, as should separately authored chapters in a multiauthor book. The style of any work, as well as occasional deviations from it, must be determined by author, editor, and publisher before editing begins.
Substantive editing deals with the organization and presentation of content. It involves rewriting to improve style or to eliminate ambiguity, reorganizing or tightening, recasting tables, and other remedial activities. (It should not be confused with developmental editing, a more drastic process; see 2.45.) In general, no substantive editing should be undertaken without agreement between publisher and editor, especially for book-length works; if major substantive work is needed, the author should be consulted and perhaps invited to approve a sample before the editing proceeds. A journal’s manuscript editors, however, working on rigid schedules, may need to do substantive editing without prior consultation with authors if problems of organization, presentation, and verbal expression have not been addressed at earlier stages.
Discretion in substantive editing
A light editorial hand is nearly always more effective than a heavy one. An experienced editor will recognize and not tamper with unusual figures of speech or idiomatic usage and will know when to make an editorial change and when simply to suggest it, whether to delete a repetition or an unnecessary recapitulation or simply to point it out to the author, and how to suggest tactfully that an expression may be inappropriate. An author’s own style should be respected, whether flamboyant or pedestrian. All manuscript editors should be aware of any requirements of house style that are essential to the publisher—for example, those covering bias-free language (see 5.221–30).
Stages of editing
Editors usually go through a manuscript three times—once to do the initial editing, easily the longest stage; a second time to review, refine, and sometimes correct the editing; and a third time after the author’s review (see 2.69). Editors working on electronic manuscripts may also be required to perform an initial, systematic cleanup (see 2.77)—though a publisher’s manuscript editing or production department may perform such a cleanup before turning a manuscript over to an editor. Careful editors begin the initial editing stage—sometimes in conjunction with the electronic cleanup—by looking through the entire document to assess the nature and scope of the work that will be required, to identify any matters that should be clarified with the author before editing begins, and to reduce the number of surprises that could cause delays if discovered later in the process. Some edit each element in a work (text, notes, tables, bibliography, etc.) separately to help attain consistency; others edit the apparatus, or a part of it, along with the text. Whatever the procedure, all elements must be compared to ensure that the notes match their text references and correspond in turn to the entries in the bibliography or reference list, the tables correspond to any discussion of them in the text, and so on.