A book goes into a successful publication only if it gets a quality check approved from the editing table. Editors, especially in the book publishing field are very important because a book is a permanent record of a reader’s soul. Any other medium printed or published can be re-edited, improvised, or can be re-established with a different version but a book once published can’t be redone or recalled as casually as it could be done with other published mediums. That is why a book passes through various types of editing phases and faces.
Now let us see the different types of editors in book publishing.
An acquisition editor does not edit but selects and accepts promising manuscripts for publication. They are primarily concerned with evaluating the script’s literary and sales potential. As part of their selection process, they take into consideration several factors, such as the authenticity of the content, interesting facts, the author’s background, etc.
In this profession, the focus is on broader factors such as plot, characters, style, voice, and even the intended audience within the scripts. It is the most challenging editing process since they have to ensure that the essence and flavor with which the author developed the script are not lost. Effective developmental editors have strong verbal communication skills as well as written language skills.
Like developmental editing, structural editing takes a broad look at the structure of a manuscript. Structure and flow go hand-in-hand and are kind of hard to pin down. And every book (both fiction and nonfiction) needs a good flow to pull the readers along, either entertaining or providing information.
These professionals scan the work line by line and validate the logical aspects against the fictional write-ups and check for the elements of truth in the non-fiction. Fact-checking is an ideal role for individuals who love tracking down hard-to-find information and have a sharp eye for detail.
The line editor job goes hand-in-hand with that of fact-checking editors or sometimes the job is combined for a single employee. The goal is to make the writing as polished as possible, such as by eliminating redundancies, suggesting word choice improvements, adjusting sentence structures, and so on. That is why this type of editing is often referred to as stylistic editing.
Copy editing is similar to line editing, going through the manuscript carefully, one line at a time. These types of editing jobs focus on making improvements to small-picture issues, rather than big-picture issues. When comparing copy to line editing, copy editing is technical, whereas line editing is stylistic. Copy editors focus on correcting inconsistencies in spelling, capitalization errors, shifts in tense and similar issues.
After going through various stages of copy editing, line editing, fact-checking, and developmental editing, the polished script goes through one big stage of proofreading where all of these above steps are done at a glance and the script is set for a hardcopy print layout. The proofreaders create a “Galley” proof which is a test copy of the book. The proofreader serves as the final checkpoint before the finalized version is completed and printed.
The book publishing process from the scripting stage to bringing it live to the publication site is a joyous experience just like a baby’s development in the womb to giving birth. It is a careful and serious business, and combined efforts of many who sincerely adopt the crux of the content, live by it, imbibe, and deliver it for the world to acquire a soulful rendition from the author’s table. On the whole, an editor can simply be referred to as a creator’s obstetrician.
Thanks for reading! And remember:
Live. Love. Laugh.