Getting novels and non-fiction books into print – how our editing service works

A fresh pair of eyes, a respectful yet plain-speaking outside observer can reveal and highlight what friends and family often cannot – or dare not – when it comes to a cherished fiction or non-fiction manuscript. Sometimes the original work is transformed over the course of the editorial process.

The editor can see through to the diamond that glimmers within the raw MS, and can supply the author with the cutting tools that will enable him or her to clear away extraneous matter, then reshape and facet the gem in all its brilliance. (This will normally be in the form of a more or less detailed editorial report.) Then, when this cutting and re-angling work is done, the editor takes up the tools to polish the diamond and smooth away any remaining rough edges (by copyediting the MS). This subtle collaborative support process can often make the difference between failure and success.

The process

A way must often be found to let the author know that their unpolished jewel will require further work if it is to shine. It takes tact and understanding to intervene in someone else’s creative process so that the editor’s vision of the book’s potential is welcomed, embraced and blended with the author’s own.

The editor must grasp the essence of the book’s message and intent, and figure out how existing content can be reformed, reshaped or reangled to achieve that end.

Once the manuscript is telling its story in the best way possible, the editor will work a further much more subtle transformation to ensure that the language used expresses the author’s ideas grammatically, lucidly and elegantly (unless stylistic requirements are otherwise).

The outcome is a book that tells the story as the author had hoped – and is something to be truly proud of.