Manuscript Development & Editorial Oversight
Experience has proven that 100% of the manuscripts sent to a publisher are not ready to be published. Though a book concept may be great, and the manuscript may have been edited and reworked many times, until it is evaluated against the Project Questionnaire, there is no way of knowing if it has been conceived or written to achieve the author’s stated publishing and marketing goals. Usually, little research has been done to assess the actual book category (Is it over or under saturated? Are the best selling books written by celebrities or famous experts? Is this category losing market share?). Most manuscripts are either not comprehensive enough in their subject, or are too broad and unfocused.
PDG approaches all levels of editing from an integrated publishing perspective. After the client fills out the Project Questionnaire, an experienced editor will review the manuscript and make an assessment as to how well it delivers what it claims to deliver. The assessment will identify what needs to be done to live-up to the author’s claims, and what should be done to ensure that this manuscript is indeed “different” from the competition. The assessment will produce an editorial budget and timeline. Often, the editor can help in assisting the author in rewriting or it can be placed with a ghost-writer.
The levels of editing required for a professionally published book project:
- Conceptual editing: focused on the book idea and its marketing goals
- Structural editing: manuscript, section, and chapter organizational issues
- Substantive editing: writing and rewriting
- Copy editing: grammar, word usage, and punctuation
- Proofreading: catching the mistakes and typos
All projects need proofreading before going to press and need copy editing before formatting. Most manuscripts need substantive editing to make sure the writing level and style are consistent with professional publishing. Many manuscripts need some degree of structural editing to make sure they align with the publishing goals of the author and that the book will truly be distinctive enough to make an impact in the marketplace.
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