Editing Rx

Editing_Tools_2By Kristin Thiel of Indigo Editing

Just as a therapist may be able to prescribe medication or not, may counsel the physical or the mental side of a person, or may have a certificate or a medical license, an editor may perform any number of different editing tasks and have a background distinct from other editors. Editor is a broad term, so it’s important for authors to ask editors questions and see samples of their work to understand what they do and what perspectives they bring to their work. Two very different editors can both be wonderful—but not equally wonderful for the same writer.

As a group, the editors of Indigo offer a variety of skills and experiences, but here’s the framework within which we all work. For each project, we:

  • Provide a free sample edit so that the author can see the editor’s individual style and so that the editor can offer a clear estimate on time and cost
  • Make suggestions while encouraging the writer’s own style and voice—the author always has the final say on a project
  • Keep a style sheet of all style decisions, variant spellings, and fact-checked proper nouns
  • Write an editorial letter to summarize our edits and explain what the author should do next

We take these steps in each stage of editing. Some projects need all stages, some just one—the editor and the author work together to determine what level of work is needed.

  • Developmental editing digs deep, addressing content, presentation, and documentation. The editor works closely with the author. Because this may continue for several rounds, for the sake of a client’s budget, Indigo tries to keep this contained in a single round. If we notice in a sample edit that a project requires deep structural work, we suggest a Reader’s Response first to help alleviate the heavy lifting required in multiple developmental editing rounds. (For a Reader’s Response, an Indigo editor reads the manuscript at a reader’s, rather than an editor’s, pace and then prepares a letter of reply, highlighting what the editor sees as the manuscript’s strengths and what could be done to address the less successful patterns.)
  • Line editing includes editing for grammar, syntax, and consistent formatting among similar elements, cross-checking across the text, and fact-checking.
  •  Proofreading may happen before design, after design, and after the printer has provided proofs, the editor at this stage catching lingering errors in spelling and punctuation through awkward line or page breaks.

Email info@indigoediting.com to talk with Indigo about the editing you want for your writing. (We can also help with project management of your independent publishing project as well as book design.)

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