Editorial Services FAQs
If you have questions about our editorial services, start here! If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, contact us.
What is copyediting?
Copyediting is performed on the original written manuscript before the book’s pages are designed and laid out. At this stage, Bookmasters will help you by cleaning up the written text, addressing textual issues including spelling, punctuation, grammar, and capitalization. Depending on the level of the copyedit, we can also correct issues of wording, consistency, continuity, and style.
What is proofreading?
Proofreading is performed on the book’s actual pages after they are designed and laid out. At this stage, the book’s text is assumed to be finalized by the author, so Bookmasters is now primarily concerned with how the pages look and read. A proofreader’s chief concerns are page elements throughout the book (page numbers, running heads, chapter heads, footnotes, etc.) as well as bad breaks, ladders, and widows/orphans. We will make sure all spelling and grammar are correct within the text and art is accounted for and placed/formatted correctly.
What is an editorial assessment?
An editorial assessment is a review of a manuscript for content, structure, and format to determine areas for improvement and the level of editing required. No editing is done to the text, but rather an overview of the manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses are provided.
Why does my book need to be edited? Can I edit it myself?
Even the best writers sometime make mistakes. Ensuring that your manuscript is free of spelling or grammatical errors is an important step before going to print. A professional edit is always recommended, because as the writer you are often too close to the material to spot any inconsistencies. While having a friend or colleague review your material is always helpful, book editors have the appropriate education and skills to polish your book and can offer an objective opinion to help ensure that your book is of the highest quality possible.
Do I have to make the changes suggested by the copyeditor or proofreader?
You have the ultimate say in what changes you choose to accept or reject. Sometimes a dialogue with the editor is necessary to help clarify why some things are written a certain way (for instance, use of colloquial spellings when writing dialogue for a character). The editor and/or proofreader can explain why a change is suggested, but the author always has the final word on what is “right.”
What do you mean by “Chicago Style,” “MLA,” or “AP Style?”
A manuscript’s “style” refers to the underlying grammatical rules followed when editing the text. The Chicago Manual of Style is one of the oldest and most comprehensive style guides currently in use and is widely held as the standard style guide amongst publishers today. The Chicago Manual of Style is Bookmasters’ in-house style manual. Modern Language Association (MLA) style is most commonly used to write research papers and cite sources within the fields of liberal arts and humanities. The Associated Press Stylebook (AP style) is the style and usage guide used by newspapers and in the news industry in the United States. We are also experienced with APA style, AMA style, and many other style guides.
Will someone at Bookmasters read my book and tell me what they think?
Opinions are personal and subjective, so we recommend soliciting reviews from professional book reviewers for honest feedback. If you are having your book copyedited and proofread, our editors will read your text while working on it, but they are not focusing on the context of what is written. They are concerned only with the mechanics of the text and will not offer an opinion beyond critiquing the technical structure of your manuscript. Informally, you can ask your friends and family for constructive criticism, and look for unbiased opinions by asking coworkers or colleagues, without presuming on their time.
Do I need an index for my book?
The inclusion of an index in your book is up to you, but it has come to be expected in certain genres, most notably non-fiction. A comprehensive index allows a reader to access specific information within the book quickly and efficiently. Bookmasters' indexers review your book for all main ideas and sub-ideas and will provide a list of suggested index terms.
Do I need permission to use images and/or text in my book that I’ve found on the Internet?
Yes. Material found on the Internet is not necessarily in the public domain. We advise that you contact the owner of the website to obtain permission for any images or text you may want to use in your book. The rights holder for the material may request attribution in your book and/or a fee. Bookmasters can help you with this permission-seeking service if needed.