If you’ve just finished an early draft, or if you’ve received more agent rejection letters than you’d like, a professional critique on the overall concept for and presentation of your manuscript can help you find the right angle or missing piece. A reader’s response entails an editor who specializes in your genre reading the full manuscript to evaluate big-picture development. You’ll receive a report of five to ten pages on what’s working well and what could be strengthened in revision, as well as specific strategies for implementing suggested changes.
If you want page-by-page feedback and guidance on revising your manuscript, much more in-depth than would be possible in a reader’s response, developmental editing is the right service. This involves in-depth editing and feedback on elements like plot arc, pacing, tone, and character development for fiction, and argument development, pacing, tone, and style for nonfiction. Feedback comes in the form of specific comments within the manuscript as well as an editorial letter.
Once the big-picture elements of your manuscript are as strong as they can be, it’s time for line-level editing for spelling, grammar, syntax, clarity, consistency, and flow in accordance with The Chicago Manual of Style, the standard in book publishing. Line editing also includes fact-checking the spelling of proper nouns and the accuracy of quotes. Source citation editing and formatting are also included in this phase of editing. If you’re pursuing traditional publishing, your manuscript will be ready for submissions after this editing phase.
If you’re publishing independently or are a publishing company, you’ll want proofreading after line editing. Proofreading is the final-eye polish before the work goes to print. It primarily involves catching typos, dropped words, or repetitions that have been introduced in the final stages of revision, although we watch for any other types of errors as well. We follow the proofreading model traditional publishers use, having two editors complete this editing pass to ensure you have a final manuscript of the highest quality.