Ever wondered what happens once you submit your manuscript to a professional editing service? The editing process is a crucial stage in bringing your book to its full potential. Let’s have a look at what happens during editing.


Step 1: Developmental Editing

The first round of editing focuses on getting the story right.

It addresses structural issues, ensuring your story flows seamlessly. We provide constructive feedback on plot pacing, character arcs, and overall narrative coherence. This step is about shaping the raw material into a compelling and well-structured narrative. To that effect, we’ll write an Editor’s Report with our recommendations.

In addition, we’ll help you fine-tune the details of the story to make sure it’s clear, consistent, and logical. This feedback is given in the margins of the manuscript, so, at the exact point where we find something lacking or where we have suggestions to make the story even better.

The developmental edit is all about feedback; nothing in your manuscript is changed!


Step 2: Author’s Revisions

Once the developmental edit is ready, it’s time for the author to get to work!

On the basis of the editor’s feedback, the author makes changes to the manuscript. However, this is the author’s manuscript and not that of the editor, so the author should ignore whatever feedback doesn’t fit with his or her idea for the manuscript.


Step 3: Checking Changes

Now, the ball is in the editor’s court again. We’ll look at the major changes the author has made. Or, if a lot has changed, we’ll look at the full manuscript again.

With the new feedback, the author can make further changes if needed.


Step 4: Copy Editing

When the manuscript is the best it can be, we’ll move to copy editing. This involves scrutinizing grammar, punctuation, and spelling. We’ll correct spelling errors, address awkward phrasing, and ensure your writing adheres to the rules of style. This step is crucial for creating a polished and professional manuscript.

We’ll prepare two files: one shows the changes that are made in a different color, and the other has the changes embedded in the text.


Step 5: Proofreading

The final stage is proofreading, the last line of defense against any lingering errors. We meticulously comb through the manuscript to catch any remaining typos, formatting issues, or minor mistakes. This ensures that your book is as error-free as possible and ready for publication.

Many authors stop after copy editing. But you should know that professionally published manuscripts go through up to six rounds of copy editing/proofreading–some of which are done by the author themselves. So, a round of proofreading after the copy edit is not a luxury.



Final remarks

The editing process is a collaborative journey, a partnership between author and editor to elevate your book to its highest potential.

For a standard size book (up to 80,000 words), each round will take up to three weeks. So, this is something to keep in mind.

Also, at Book Helpline, we’re happy to help our editing clients with formatting, cover design, and publishing (Amazon, IngramSpark). 

=> Now you know how the editing process works!