Frequently Asked Questions

 
 

What is a manuscript evaluation?

A manuscript evaluation is usually the first step in the editorial process. After an evaluation is completed, you will receive a short report that discusses strengths and weaknesses, offers you some general suggestions for revising your manuscript, and proposes a course of action for moving forward.

What is a substantive or content edit?

A substantive or content edit is typically the first edit that gets done on a manuscript. It is a big-picture edit that identifies major substantive and/or structural weaknesses in a piece of writing. In fiction, these weaknesses might involve problems with your plot, subplots, or character development. In nonfiction, these problems might include poorly organized chapters, arguments that require additional support, or chapters that are missing an introduction or a conclusion.  If you choose a substantive edit, you will receive a tracked version of your manuscript with edits in place and comments embedded in your file.  You will also receive a short editorial report that explains and summarizes what has been done and what still needs to be accomplished.

 

Have Other Questions? Contact Us »

What is a line edit?

The term "line edit" means different things to different people. For our purposes, it refers to an intermediate edit that is usually done after a substantive edit and before a copy edit. This edit catches smaller problems that were overlooked or set aside during an earlier round of editing. In fiction, these problems might include style gaffes, continuity issues, or the misuse of dialogue tags. In nonfiction, these weaknesses might include wordiness, a reliance on jargon,  or unclear passages. If you choose a line edit, you will receive a tracked version of your manuscript with edits in place and comments embedded in the file. You will also receive a short editorial report that explains and summarizes what has been done and what still needs to be accomplished.

How much does each service cost?

Our fees are reasonable. Please contact me personally at diane@dianeyoungassociates.net for a free fee estimate.  Remember to provide the word count for your manuscript and be sure to state whether it is fiction or nonfiction.

Who DOes The WORK?

If you have a preference for a specific editor, please let us know.

What is a copy edit?

A copy edit is usually the last edit that is done before a manuscript is laid out by a designer. It is sometimes referred to as a mechanical edit because the editor focuses on standardizing spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, the presentation of numbers, the use of abbreviations, and so on. If you are offered a contract by a traditional publisher, that publisher will likely copy edit your manuscript so that it conforms to his or her house style.  A writer hoping to find an agent or publisher may still wish to hire an independent editor to copy edit his or her manuscript if it has a high number of spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors in it.

How long does each service take?

Generally, manuscript evaluations take one to two weeks while editing takes a little longer. Please be advised, though, that we usually have a backlog of work. Typically, you will have to wait about four weeks for your manuscript to reach the front of the queue.

Do you require a deposit?

No, but you will be asked to sign a work agreement to reserve a place in line.