Editing will make or break your book. Often writers are tempted to skimp on editing costs because they don’t fully appreciate how much work goes into proper editing and how much it can benefit their work. By the time you reach the end of this series of posts on editing you’ll have a great idea of what editing is, how it can improve your book and what kind of editing your book requires.

Broadly speaking there are three kinds of editing. The type of editing you need will depend on how long you’ve spent conceptualising, writing and researching the content of your book. At Staging Post we read your manuscript and advise you on the kind of editing we think your book deserves to make your writing shine the brightest.

Developmental editing: Here the editor evolves the initial concept or draft of a manuscript. This type of edit may include suggestions about content, additional topics, organisation of the manuscript, presentation, writing style, necessary rewrites, or further research required.

This form of editing also addresses issues relating to themes, point of view, exposition, content, organisation, tone, pace, and sensitivity.

Although a structural editor may do a little copy-editing as they work through your manuscript, that is not what they are being paid to do. Their focus is much broader. They will return your manuscript marked up with comments and suggested rewrites to guide you on what writing work you still need to undertake.

Best suited to: Any book can benefit from developmental editing. However, novels, plays, poetry collections and memoirs tend to need it the most. A good developmental editor will make sure readers fully appreciate your creative vision.

Substantive editing: The aim here is to improve a manuscript by identifying and solving problems of overall clarity or accuracy. This is achieved by the reorganizing of paragraphs, sections, or chapters. The editor is looking to up the readability and flow of information in the text.

Best suited to: While any book can benefit from substantive editing, it’s often more important for corporate annual reports, NGO donor reports, theses and non-fiction works.

Copy /line editing: This type of editing includes spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and word usage corrections by the editor. The editor is aiming to preserve the meaning and voice of the author while making the necessary corrections. A consistent house style and format is imposed. References, art, figures, tables and equations are also cross-checked for consistency.

The author is sent queries about errors or inconsistencies. Permissions required for the inclusion of copyrighted material are noted for the author’s attention. The manuscript is prepared for the designer to lay out.

Best suited to: All books.

So these are the three types of editing you can consider for your book. Staging Post engages expert editors to carry out all three. The most popular kind of editing amongst our clients at the moment is copy/line editing. We believe of all the three, copy/line editing is essential for the success of your book. There are different costs associated with all three. Feel free to contact us for a quote.

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