Stages of Editing

The different stages of editing don’t have to be daunting. At Calico Editing Services, we are here to help you navigate your way through each step and enable your manuscript to flourish in the process.

When you hear about editing it can sound quite daunting if you don’t know what it consists of. There are several different kinds of editing and each one is very important. At Calico Editing, we offer you the full package. Throughout the editing process, you will be assigned to the same editor to ensure consistency within your project.  

This article is here to show you what to expect from our editing team.  

Developmental edit.
Sometimes referred to as: a critique or a structural edit.
Our aim: To help get the very best from the manuscript and provide you with feedback which will inspire you to make it shine.
Useful when: You have completed the first draft of your manuscript and you need an unbiased, professional opinion. Or, during the writing of your first draft and you are uncertain about direction and would like a professional opinion.
What we do: We look at the story as a whole – the plot, structure, story arc, characters, themes, etc. All whilst keeping in mind your own personal goals and vision for the story enabling us to give you a personalised service. We also consider your target audience and the current market trends.
What happens then: We return your manuscript to you along with a report. The report has feedback on your story. It will tell you areas which are working well, areas which require more work, and gives suggestions and examples about how to best make these changes.

After the developmental edit, you take in the changes and amend your manuscript. You can follow our guidance as closely or as loosely as you like – some authors stick very closely to our suggestions whilst others use them as inspiration. You are welcome to show our editors your changes so you can feel confident about the direction you have taken the story.

Once the content of your manuscript is sound, you are ready for the next stage of editing.

The line edit.

Sometimes referred to as: Copyediting or a ‘line-by-line’.
Our aim:
To ensure your manuscript is error-free and shines.
Useful when:
You have made corrections to your story as a whole and have been advised that the overall story is sound.
What we do:
We go through your manuscript line-by-line, word-by-word. We correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. We also check for any inconsistencies within the story and flag up any queries that may arise. To help polish the manuscript, we advise about the word choices and make suggestions if certain words are too complex for your audience or if you are overusing a specific word throughout. We polish sentences and make sure they’re a suitable length for your audience. This step of editing won’t impact on your story, but it will help it to shine and be error-free.
What happens then: We return the edited manuscript to you with ‘tracked changes’ so you are able to see each change we have made. This can help you to see where you have made errors and it also gives you the chance to ask the editor why a specific change was made. You then make any additional changes, which the editor has flagged and then accept the changes.

After this stage you are ready to get your illustrations underway. It is important that illustrations don’t begin until these two steps of editing are completed.

The proofread.
Sometimes referred to as:
Final draft review.
Our aim:
To catch any errors prior to printing.
Useful when:
Your book is fully illustrated and formatted, you have all back-matter in place and the book is completed – ready to print!
What we do: We go through the final copy from cover-to-cover and ensure that it is error-free. Sometimes, during the formatting process errors can be caused due to how text is positioned or how it has been pasted across. We will check for any inconsistencies with the illustrations and the text. At this stage we also check the cover, back-matter and blurb to ensure that these are consistent with the story and also error-free.
What happens then: You are ready to print!

Feedback from authors to our editors:

“Even when even when you think the story is great she can still tease out even more extra magical details.”

“The feedback I received was invaluable! The suggestions made will improve my book enormously.”

“She is always super helpful, super quick, super accurate and when I ask for her edits I am always looking forward to see what she had done with my work. She can transform a tiny seed into a beautiful plant!”

“She is not only patient and answers all the questions, she also is very passionate about the stories she edits. I love working with her! She also encourages me to be more creative and challenging myself in a positive way.”

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