I have great news for you: if you’re reading this, it's most likely because you want to publish your very best work, and that's something we take pride in helping authors with. But going one step beyond that, we're a great match if:
This is something I could write a book about! If you’re confused about the different levels of editing, you’re not alone. Here are the levels of editing Inkbot Editing provides:
Editing has to move from the big picture to the little picture, or from developmental editing all the way down to proofreading. Developmental editing focuses on the biggest of the big-picture items in your book. For prescriptive nonfiction, this includes structure, pacing, use of headings, tone and style, and audience. For narrative nonfiction and fiction, developmental editing covers things like plot and character development, use of dialogue and monologue, pacing, scenes, showing vs. telling, and action.
Line editing and copyediting are similar in some ways—the main difference is that copyediting follows a style guide, while line editing does not. Both services aren’t always needed, and they can sometimes be combined into one step. Line editing focuses more on transitions, writing flow, tone adjustments, and slightly larger actual edits to the “lines,” or sentences, of your book.
Copyediting is often the next step after developmental editing if line editing isn’t needed. It fixes any grammatical errors, punctuation mix-ups, spelling mistakes, and more, and its primary goal is to make your book read smoothly and consistently throughout. Copyediting follows a style guide, such as the Chicago Manual of Style for most fiction and nonfiction books. This is because American English is sometimes all over the map, and having one authoritative guide is crucial to consistency in capitalization, spelling, headings, and more. (Isn’t being a word nerd fun?!)
Proofreading, contrary to popular belief (and most of our elementary-school teachers) is only done on manuscripts that are in the very, very final stage of publishing. This is when a professional proofreader looks over the PDF file of the final, formatted book and makes sure there aren’t any lingering errors, such as typos, double punctuation, bolded punctuation, overlapping text, and incorrect page numbers or formatting. (This is only needed if you’re self-publishing.)
Whew—you just made it through the most technical part of this FAQ!
Every writing project is different—just like you wouldn’t walk up to a dentist at a dinner party and say, “Hey, Dr. Mortenson, something in my mouth hurts. What do I need?” you can’t go up to an editor and ask them to create a project plan for you sight unseen. (Who knows what you’ve got goin’ on up in there. And shout-out to Dr. Mortenson, who is my actual dentist.)
At Inkbot Editing, we’re happy to talk to you about your project and your goals for it, and we provide you with a fully customized plan to move forward. Contact us today!
Great question. And again, it depends! Just like a mechanic would charge someone who just needs a tune-up and an oil change differently from someone who needs a full-blown engine overhaul, editing services are priced on a case-by-case, custom basis.
This also allows us to recommend exactly what type of editing your manuscript would benefit from the most while taking your short- and long-term goals into account. This saves you a ton of time and confusion trying to sort all that out by yourself. In fact, so many clients have told us that we should charge for the customized editing plan we provide in our proposal that we’ve considered it heavily. (But we’re just too darn generous. We want to see you succeed!)
In general terms, what type of editing you need depends on what shape the manuscript is in. If you need more development, we’ll start there. If it’s in wonderful shape and doesn’t need any development, it will move into either line editing or copyediting, depending on the level of edits needed (and often, these two can be combined) and your goals. Then, after the book is laid out and designed, we almost always recommend a final proofread to check for any leftover errors. We’re not actual robots, and either the copyeditor or you, the author, can miss things or accidentally introduce tiny errors during the copyediting review.
Great question! If you have an eye for grammar and a solid foundation for syntax, style, tone, transitions, flow, and spelling (and if your developmental editor didn’t point out any recurring problems with these items), you might be fine without a line or copyedit before sending your manuscript out to agents.
But. (And it’s a big but.) Remember that you only have one shot to land the agent of your dreams. And if they notice any errors in your book, it could easily cost you that opportunity. So, as the cliché goes, it's better to be safe than sorry.
We often recommend a line edit instead of a copyedit for manuscripts that will be sent to agents. This is because the book doesn't need to follow a strict style guide at this stage (that will come later), and it probably just needs a once-over for the elements that line editing focuses on.
Contrary to popular belief, proofreading is not done on a Word document—it's the final, final, final check of your proof, or the PDF file that looks like a real book, with running heads and page numbers and a gorgeous layout. At Inkbot Editing, proofreading is only done on self-published books, since traditional publishers will handle the proofreading on their end.
We all have our blind spots, so having a separate copyeditor and proofreader is the industry-standard way to ensure that we catch the highest number of remaining errors in your book. We all need a second set of eyes!
We aren't a publisher, but we can help you get your manuscript (or your query letter and book proposal if you're writing nonfiction) in the best possible shape to send to agents and publishers, or in the very best shape to self-publish. We have an amazing team of book formatters, book cover designers, illustrators, book marketing pros, website designers, and more on hand for you.
We don’t have any literary agents on staff here at Inkbot Editing, but we’re always looking for agents interested in connecting with us. We have a lot of talented authors (like you!) working with us, and we’re all about doing everything we can to help them succeed. That may include connecting you to an agent who might be a good match.
Inkbot Editing specializes in helping writers get their books published—whether that's in the traditional market or the rewarding world of self-publishing. We take on all prescriptive nonfiction books (how-to, self-help, subject matter experts), narrative nonfiction books (memoir, autobiography, travel), and fiction. We also work on comics and graphic novels of all kinds. Here's a sampling of some of the genres we work with:
As far as content goes, we love a wide variety. Contact us today to see if we're a good match!
We love working on a wide range of books, essays, and short stories—including graphic novels! But we prefer to refer the following genres to editors who specialize in those fields:
We also don't work on scientific or academic writing projects, including books, theses, and dissertations. (But if you're a subject matter expert writing a book for the general public, that's where we shine! The Hidden Lives of Chickadees, here we come!)
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