Daily Archives: July 18, 2019

Why Do All Authors Need Editors and Proofreaders?

Why do all authors need editors and proofreaders? Because each of these professionals plays a different (and essential) role in polishing your book for publication.

Why do all authors need editors and proofreaders?

Traditional Forms of Editing

Traditional literary publishers put each and every manuscript through a thorough and professional process of substantive/stylistic editing, copy editing, and then proofreading to ensure a polished and saleable result. There are several pairs of eyes on every raw manuscript and galley proof all the way through the process to ensure that 99 percent of every last error is caught and corrected before it goes to print.

Below is a brief description of what each of those editing processes looks like. Independent authors should have your manuscripts copy edited in the very least.

Copy Editing

A copy editor will thoroughly review your manuscript in Microsoft Word format and correct any issues with spelling, grammar, and punctuation throughout. He or she will also make helpful suggestions regarding word choice and sentence structure, using the “Western-based” English editorial style guide of your choice. The edited version will be returned to you for final approval before moving onto the next publishing stage.

Stylistic Editing

Sometimes, you want a little more than a copy edit. A stylistic edit will cover all the points of a copy edit, plus it will eliminate jargon and redundancies, clarify meaning, and ensure that the writing matches the intended audience. Stylistic edits are negotiated with you all along the way using the English editorial style guide of your choice. The edited version will be returned to you for final approval before moving onto the next publishing stage.

Substantive/Structural Editing

Do you want the help of a professional editor to improve the overall structure of your manuscript? A substantive edit will cover all the points of a stylistic edit, plus it will clarify and reorganize your story for you. These changes are negotiated with you all along the way using the English editorial style guide of your choice. The edited version will be returned to you for final approval before moving onto the next publishing stage.

Professional Proofreading

Where an editor’s job is to review and improve an author’s raw manuscript, and the graphic designer’s job is to arrange that raw edited text into a professional and appealing layout, a professional proofreader provides yet another set of eyes to ensure all the components fit together properly and the book is ready for public viewing and printing. The proofreader’s job is to complete the following nine-point check for you:

Interior Check

  • The front matter (such as the table of contents) is accurate and correct.
  • The back matter (such as the index) is accurate and correct.
  • Headers and footers are accurate and correct.
  • Bad breaks, widows, and orphans are eliminated.
  • Text is kerned to flow smoothly throughout.
  • Margins and trim size all measure properly.
  • Spelling and punctuation is correct.

Cover Check

  • Spacing, bleeds, and trim size all measure properly.
  • Spelling and punctuation is correct.

As shown in the above list, a professional proofreader is someone who is knowledgeable/experienced with both basic language editing (spelling and punctuation) as well as the technical aspects of book design (kerning, bleeds, trim size, et cetera). If the proofreader finds any issues in the layout, he or she will indicate these. And the graphic designer will make those corrections with your approval.

Why Do All Authors Need Editors and Proofreaders?

In the traditional publishing sector, you will have very little to no say in the design and polishing of your book. Once they buy the rights to your manuscript from you, they own it. They have all the say in every aspect of the project.

That said, in both the independent and hybrid book publishing business models, you can accept and decline each change as you see fit. And I’m willing to bet you’ll accept 95% of these professionals’ changes—if not more. You’ll be amazed by what their eyes will find that you were unable to see after viewing your own book cover and interior several times over. I’m certain you’ll be grateful that you invested in this type of support.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Preparing Your Digital Files for a Book Publisher

When preparing your digital files for a book publisher, you should follow these important guidelines. File naming conventions are especially important for proper records management.

Preparing Your Digital Files for a Book Publisher

PPG FILE NAMING CONVENTION

Each of your files should be associated with your book title, author name, and the current date. They should also indicate their individual purposes (e.g., book cover graphic, book interior text) so it is easy to differentiate each file.

Your file names should begin with the first five letters of your book title, the first five letters of your legal last name, and MMM DD YYYY for the current date. Here is an example file name for a book titled How to Publish a Book in Canada by Kim Staflund:

HOWTO.STAFL.JAN012017.SAMPLE.DOC

The most important parts of this file naming convention are the first three: the book title, the last name, and the current date. Ensuring consistency and continuity in these three areas will make it easier for everyone involved in the project to find files when they need to down the road. The final part of the file name is a guide to let everyone know what the file is for, and it can be typed in various ways.

Below are some acceptable file names 

for author photo files:
HOWTO.STAFL.JAN012017.AuthorPhoto.tiff

for book cover files:
HOWTO.STAFL.JAN012017.CoverGraphic01.jpeg
HOWTO.STAFL.JAN012017.CoverGraphic02.jpeg

for book interior files:
HOWTO.STAFL.JAN012017.InteriorGraphic01.tiff
HOWTO.STAFL.JAN012017.InteriorGraphic02.tiff
HOWTO.STAFL.JAN012017.InteriorText.doc

for promo piece files:
HOWTO.STAFL.JAN012017.PromoGraphic01.jpeg

PREPARING GRAPHIC FILES FOR PPG

A graphic is defined as any picture, illustration, chart, image, logo, or graph you would like placed either in your book interior, on your book cover, or as part of any other marketing materials we may be creating for you.

Colour Graphics

All colour graphics must be submitted to PPG in either .jpg (.jpeg) or .tif (.tiff) format, with a minimum resolution of 300 DPI, using the CMYK colour model.

Black and White Graphics

All black and white graphics must be submitted to PPG in either .jpg (.jpeg) or .tif (.tiff) format with a minimum resolution of 300 DPI. For best results, they should be sent as grayscale/monochrome files rather than CMYK colour files. (We can accept CMYK colour images; however, they may not reproduce as well in black and white as a grayscale/monochrome image will.)

All graphics for your book (including all author photos) must be sent to PPG at the same time your interior text is sent.

PREPARING TEXT FILES FOR PPG

PPG will only accept text files (e.g., your manuscript) in Microsoft Word format with nothing more than the following formatting. This ensures the file is clean, making it easier for editors and designers to work with it.

  • Include all front matter, body, back matter, and back cover copy in this document in exactly the order you wish to see it appear in the final designed version of your book (NOTE: back cover copy should be placed at the very end and labelled as [Insert back cover copy here] so the designer knows what it is and where to eventually place it; but it must be included in the original text document so it can be properly edited along with everything else).
  • Leave room for the copyright page within your front matter (e.g., simply insert a blank page that says [Insert copyright page here] at the top of it, and PPG will take care of the rest for you).
  • Times New Roman font, 11 pt. size, left-aligned text
  • Entire document double-spaced
  • The only hard returns in this document should be at the end of chapter titles and paragraphs
  • Insert a page break at the end of each section and/or chapter
  • Insert an additional page break where you want blank pages to appear
  • Type [Insert image file name here with the following caption: caption text] where you wish to see an image and caption inserted. DO NOT INSERT THE IMAGE YOURSELF.
  • Italicize any words/phrases you wish to see italicized in the formatted version of your book
  • Bold any words/phrases you wish to see bolded in the formatted version of your book
  • Underline any words/phrases you wish to see underlined in the formatted version of your book

Preparing Your Digital Files for a Book Publisher

These guidelines for preparing your digital files for a book publisher are designed to make your life easier. You’ll be able to find the files you need more quickly all along the way. And it will be easier for everyone involved in your book project to keep everything organized.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.