Writing a book can be a long journey, but it is not just about writing a book. When it comes to writing, an editor must approve it before publishing. It may be a magazine, a blog, an article, a book, or just a column.
An editor needs to edit and ask the writer to add the missing pieces. After the long and tedious process of editing is over, that is when you have a final piece.
The editing process is an organized list of steps that must be done accordingly. It includes correcting grammatical mistakes, forming sentences, marking unanswered questions, and much more. All this process is summed up as editing.
Fundamentals of Editing
While editing is an important part of publishing, it is way too much load on one person, which is the editor. Therefore companies have specific people maintaining different aspects of editing while the editor supervises each step.
There are six fundamentals of editing which must be met for every project given. A good editing process includes a vigilant eye and the use of AI to enhance the working benchmark.
The process of editing starts by reading the text provided by the writer. This text is to be read completely without any editing at the start.
Once the editor gets a gist of the story and where it is heading, it is easier to make changes without changing the meaning of the essence of the text.
This is step A of the entire process, and this step is kind of an important one because if the editor does not know the writing style, storyline, plot twists, and ending, then the editing will not make much sense. For good editing, every step needs to be taken seriously.
a. The Next Step
The next step is to analyze the book from a reader’s perspective and then ensure that the story goes smoothly from one idea to another.
Most non-fictional books with no storyline can become cluttered with ideas and facts. An editor’s job is to see if the text makes sense to the reader.
Mostly in this step, the editor is a critic trying to skim through lines, looking for unanswered questions and any missing information. This is where the editor usually asks the author to look into the deficient areas and send it back once corrected.
By the end of this step, the book should come together as a smooth, flowing text.
Though many editors add this step to Step A, which is reading the text, while it is much easier to shoot two birds with one arrow, editors usually change the meaning of the text as they do not know the story.
There it is better to fix all the grammatical mistakes, typos, punctuation, and comprehension, making sure everything is in a unified style.
Though many AI software has the feature to correct these mistakes while the editor reads, even authors use such software to correct their mistakes as they write.
These applications are reliable and continuously updated, but even then, a human eye is needed for the final draft. After the mistakes are fixed even by an AI application, the editor reads it to make sure there are no changes in the context.
c. Facts and Figures
Editors are very strong tools in the world of publishing and writing. Their knowledge and hold over the language cannot be challenged. That is why editing jobs are numerous and high paying.
While editors check and read the text, they also check if the facts in the book are correct. There is a lot of research that goes into the book. The editor needs to check every date, location, fact, name, and title for the last step.
To maintain the book’s authenticity, a lot of research and database information goes into verifying every detail written in the text by the editor.
Any personal opinion is clearly stated; every fact is marked and quoted as one. It is an editor’s job to properly construct the text.
d. The Final Step
The final step is “revising,” which is after a fast check which helps in correcting any left mistakes. Once all the steps above are covered, the author answers all unanswered questions and adds the missing information then the revision phase starts.
This step includes removing any gaps due to correction or change of context. Usually, this step includes shortening lengthy sentences and trimming words and chapters.
Some passages which are added later by the author also need correction and editing, which is also a part of this step. By the end of this step, the book is ready to be published and can be sent to publishers.
e. Display type
Once the book is edited and ready to be published, most editors provide a display type. This is the very last step of editing, but it is not mandatory.
The editor writes a headline, header, photo captions, and summary for the text. This is provided when there is no more editing expected, and the book is ready for publication.
From Start To End- The Process of Editing
What most authors or those who dream of becoming editors do not understand is that editing is not just one take, but rather it is a communion of many tasks.
While a book or text may be in a specific stage and need editing, every stage of writing has a set of different editing instructions and requirements.
It is not just reading the text and correcting the spellings. Rather it is a set of technical steps which can be altered as per the need of the author.
Apart from the fundamentals of editing, there are four separate stages of editing, which are there for different stages of the book. It is the author’s choice to approach an editor for a specific stage.
1. Structural editing is also known as developmental editing; it checks the concepts, plots, etc., of the text.
2. Copy editing is also known as line-by-line editing, which fixes errors and mistakes as the text leads.
3. Proofreading is a detailed correction of the final draft
4. Page proof to make sure there are no typos and that the text is ready to be printed.
You might find many editors online, but a good editor will have a good profile and might charge a little more. But there should be no compromise on the quality of work.
Editing is not an easy job, and when it comes to editing a book, the responsibility is far too great. But if you have a good editor in your hand, then you will have no issue with publications.