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.

Design Services FAQs

If you have questions about our book design services, start here! If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, contact us.

What is the typical process for the pre-production of a book?

Pre-production of a book involves all processes before the book is printed or distributed as an eBook. This involves all editorial and design tasks among other things. At Bookmasters, the process begins with submission of a manuscript as a Microsoft Word document. The manuscript is then copyedited in Word and returned to the author for approval. The finalized manuscript is next flowed into the chosen page design by the compositor. The first proof of the book is rendered as a PDF and given to the proofreader. Upon completion, the proofread PDF is passed back to the author for approval. The compositor makes any needed changes in the file and a second proof is rendered. When all parties are happy with the final file of the book, the eBook and print-ready PDF files are created.

Who will lead me through this process?

One of Bookmasters' project directors will lead you through the entire pre-production process. They will be your point person on all communication surrounding this stage of your publishing process and will ensure that aspects of quality and schedule are met and exceeded.

What is page composition?

Page composition is the act of laying out the text of your book in design software to create the final file of your book. This process is sometimes called typesetting or interior page layout. Bookmasters can use different programs to design books, with our preference being Adobe InDesign.

What about cover design?

Regardless of the idiom, a book will always be judged by its cover. A book’s cover must represent the genre and tone of the story so the reader can quickly identify interest and pick it up. Bookmasters can design a cover from scratch including photo research and purchase or use your provided image. We make sure the cover file is precisely formatted for our printers and can also be engaging as an eBook cover thumbnail.

What kind of artwork can I use for my cover or within my book?

You can submit any high-resolution images (300 DPI or higher) to which you own the rights — this includes photos you have taken yourself, artwork that you have created, or images that you have purchased. In addition, our design team can also research and purchase specific cover art for you if required.

How can I submit this art to you?

If the file is smaller than 10 MB, you can attach it to an email and send it to Bookmasters. Otherwise, you can scan images and save them to a disc to mail to us, or use our FTP site to submit the files. (A username and password will be created for you upon request when you open an account.) We can also scan photographs or other images for you in-house.

In which format should I provide my images to Bookmasters?

All images used should be submitted in a PostScript format (TIFF or EPS file). TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) and EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) are the two most suitable formats for high-resolution imaging. JPEG files can be used, but particular attention should be paid to the resolution and colorspace. Photographs should have a resolution of 300 DPI with a 5% highlight and a 95% shadow, while line art should be scanned at no less than 600 DPI. All cropping, scaling, and rotating of the images should be done outside the page-assembly application prior to placement in the final document. In other words, alterations should be made in graphics applications such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop or at the scanner itself. Any resizing and recoloring (color to black and white, for example) can be done in-house, but low resolution cannot usually be improved.

How do you know where the images should go within my book?

You'll need to label all of your scanned or digitally saved images with clear file names. Then, mark clearly and concisely throughout your text where the corresponding files should appear. If there are captions or titles for these images, include this text in your manuscript, not with the image files.

How do I let you know what size these images should be?

When you scan or otherwise digitally save your images, save them as at least 300 DPI at the correct size that you would like them to appear within your book. This size will depend on the trim size and margins of your book, and how you would like the images to appear on the page (full-page photo, small illustration as a chapter header, etc.). Any resizing and recoloring (color to black and white, for example) can be done in-house at Bookmasters.

What is the difference between RGB and CMYK color?

Colors are rendered as RGB or CMYK depending on the format on which they will be reproduced. RGB represents the color in light, and so is used for on-screen color. CMYK represents the color in ink, and so is used for printed color. We work with the CMYK colorspace, and if your images are not supplied in that colorspace, we can convert them in-house.

Can I choose any font for my book?

The design of a book is a lot more complex than just font choice, but it is perhaps the most visible part of the design. A book’s genre determines many design elements, so that is our first stop. We suggest a few page designs based on your content and can tweak aspects such as the font to make it exactly to your taste. We have a large catalog of fonts to choose from in-house. If you have a particular font that you want to use that is not currently in our library, you can purchase this font from a variety of different sources and send the application files to us or we can purchase for you.