In editorial services, you may receive book manuscripts from different clients. Most of these manuscripts have different errors as a result of no prior editing. Let me give you some pointers on how to edit book manuscripts for your clients. Ask your clients if you can have the electronic copy of the manuscript. You can edit the manuscript in your computer with the installed spell checker, grammar editor and thesaurus. However, computers may give your manuscripts the appearance of being perfect, so it is also better to edit the book manuscript in hard copy.
When you review the book manuscript, preview the genre it is written. Base your editing style on the kind of the book genre. If it is a cookbook, edit it as you would edit a cookbook.
After you edit the manuscript, set it aside for at least a few days. When you come back for it with a fresh eye, you can also notice things such as grammatical errors or awkward sentences you hadn’t seen before.
Be organized. You can use post-it notes to take note of some pointers you want to remember and check and re-check for other errors and inconsistencies such as sense and style.
Most editors use a red pencil to edit the manuscript for errors. When you are all finished, edit the electronic copy and always save your work. However, it is always safe to save the first draft of the manuscript to compare it later.
If your client has a very complex manuscript, you should organize it thoroughly for each part of the book. Take down the details as you edit through the manuscript. In this way when you notice some parts that need more editing, you will have all your notes and you can also use your notes to check for accuracy and consistency.
It is also important to have an open communication with your client regarding with his preferences. You should comment on the positive features of the manuscript as well as those parts that needs further editing. You should review the synopsis to check it indicates the general assumptions of the manuscript. It should give well introduction of the book.
Read the entire manuscript, as an ordinary reader. The manuscript should flow naturally and grab your interest. The contents should suit the genre of the book. If it is a fiction manuscript, then you should ensure the plot will be smooth-sailing, or as preferred by your client.
Ensure that the book is not jammed with scattered ideas. Delete unnecessary words and even needless chapters. Edit for poor usage including the passive voices and redundancy.
After the content of the manuscript, you can review it for format. Check with your client about the correct format. Follow the format since book editors in big publishing houses are very meticulous when it comes to format.
Tell your client what you have loved from the manuscript and share your comments honestly. Explain what you have noticed from the contents.
Most people who would hire editorial services for their manuscripts are those who are beginning in book publishing, most probably those who are just about to launch their first book. Imagine if you have edited a manuscript who would hit the bestseller list. Wouldn’t it give you the reputation as a good editor?