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EDITORIAL AND LITERARY SERVICES

The service you require will depend on the nature of your material, your proposed audience and the current state of your text.

Why do you need professional input?

  • to see whether your writing is fit for publication, self-publishing, or submission in its current state
  • to ensure that your message/narrative is clear and easily understood
  • to check for consistency of spelling, punctuation, grammar and layout
  • to achieve your text’s full potential
  • to contextualise and understand your material in the wider publishing milieu
  • to recognise where your work succeeds and where it could be improved
  • to circumvent unnecessary and avoidable criticism
  • to verify any factual material
  • to rewrite your text into straightforward English

Editorial Services:

Copy-editing

  • working on your text to make sure it is ready for publication and/or submission
  • sometimes also called a ‘structural’, ‘developmental’ or ‘substantive’ edit

This involves:

  • making sure that your text makes sense and flows properly
  • ensuring that your text actually says what you intended
  • looking at characterisation, pace, structure, plot, point of view, language (fiction)
  • scrutinising spelling, grammar, punctuation, illustrations, facts, references and notes
  • checking for anomalies/inconsistencies in the text
  • suggesting restructuring or rewriting of material where appropriate
  • offering possible solutions to inherent issues in the text
  • marking up your text for layout
  • a general overview (critique) of the entire work, highlighting strengths and weaknesses within the text, as well as considering its suitability for a particular market/audience

On-screen editing

  • copy-editing straight on to an electronic version of your text rather than on to a printed version
  • inputting copy-editing changes from elsewhere on to an electronic version of a text

Styling

  • checking for consistency of spellings, subject matter, punctuation and layout markings
  • correct labelling of headings and subheadings, as well as picture captions
  • ensuring conformity of abbreviations, such as inclusion or omission of full stops
  • correct use of quotation marks and italics
  • ensuring conformity to specific referencing systems for academic texts; eg. Harvard, APA, Vancouver, Chicago, Oxford etc.

Proofreading

  • checking your final draft for any remaining minor errors, inconsistencies or incorrect layout
  • checking your otherwise unedited text for grammar, spelling, punctuation and other textual and layout inconsistencies
  • often confused with copy-editing, this is very much a final polish to your text and nothing more

Rewriting

  • altering your material to adapt it for a specific readership
  • amending text written by non-native speakers of English to make sure that it makes sense and expresses correctly what you wish to say
  • shortening text
  • anglicising text where American usage is inappropriate for the proposed audience

Literary Services:

Literary critiques

  • reading your book/work to see whether it is suitable for publication or submission in its current state, and whether it is appropriate for your proposed audience
  • offering feedback on your plot, characterisation, point of view, voice, use of language, marketability, standard of writing and so on (fiction)
  • offering feedback on your presentation, structure, accessibility of material, clarity, language, marketability, standard of writing and so on (non-fiction)
  • providing a written report

This can involve:

  • editorial feedback on your manuscript
  • highlighting areas of your text that could be improved and offering specific suggestions for doing so
  • emphasising your strengths while offering constructive criticism about the weaker elements of your work
  • a full copy-edit of the manuscript if required