*For an explanation of the difference between edits and copy edits, please see my blog Archives: EDIT THE BLASTED BOOK, April 1, 2012.
INTRODUCTION to BEST FOOT FORWARD
In the world of New York publishing, editing and copy edits are done by two entirely different people of very different skill levels and at different times in the manuscript’s life. But in the world of independent publishing or authors who want to polish manuscripts before submitting them to agents or publishers, a different kind of editing is necessary - primarily for financial reasons. Authors need someone who can edit, copy edit, and suggest major revisions all in one reading.
Is it easy to find someone who can combine the creativity of an editor with the meticulous grammar, spelling, and fact-checking (librarian skills) of a copy editor? No, it isn’t, but there’s no doubt this combination of skills is very much needed in today’s publishing world.
I founded Best Foot Forward for exactly that reason. I am a multi-published author, and I also have those “nitty gritty” skills demanded of a copy editor. Am I perfect? Absolutely not - I don’t know anyone who is, but I am an outstanding editor and I make a genuine effort to be consistent with all those stray capitals, commas, dashes, and ellipses. And I absolutely will not let you use a full sentence as a dialogue tag!
In the months I’ve been editing as Best Foot Forward, I have discovered I cannot offer copy edits separate from editing. The editor in me simply won’t allow it. I end up making all sorts of editing notes anyway and working for less than minimum wage. After all, what’s the point in returning to you a manuscript with all the punctuation in the right place if your story just isn’t working? I simply will not return a story to you unless I’ve covered all the bases needed to make it better.
Therefore, Best Foot Forward now offers only two kinds of service:
Author Development - for unpublished authors who want to make a serious effort to improve their skills. These services include extensive Track Changes comments, copy edits, and a separate comprehensive critique. The editing suggestions are more detailed than in “General Editing.” The critique covers: Opening Paragraphs; Characterization - Hero, Heroine & Secondary; Conflict; Narration; Dialogue; Setting; Plot; Style - including Show vs. Tell, Less is More, Personalize/Identify, Point of View; Presentation - format, grammar, spelling & punctuation; Overall Impression
General Editing (with copy edits) - suitable for more experienced authors who know their books need “another pair of eyes.” This service includes Track Changes comments and a separate Mini Critique.
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Thanks for stopping by. Next blog - finally - "How Not to Write a Book"
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