Copy Editor’s Assessment
The Copy Editor’s Assessment is the beginning of the publisher’s process of evaluating a manuscript in order to decide if it is viable for publishing. For many editors, rendering a verdict to seriously consider a book is a straightforward, uncomplicated process, though it is by no means arbitrary. It is often a gut decision, but shrewd editors have well-trained guts.
Upon receiving a submission, an editor will first examine the entire package. Does the author’s query make the manuscript sound intriguing? Is the subject or treatment unique? Does the project possess a “high-concept” appeal, meaning that it will be interesting across diverse markets? Does the author have a platform? Does the work appeal to a niche audience or wide market of readers?
Next, the editor will examine the manuscript for form and adherence to conventions. Did the author follow submission guidelines? Is there a prologue or introduction? How does the novel open? Many experienced editors insist that they can tell and often decide in the first few pages whether or not the manuscript is viable, or suitable for publishing. Initial red flags: misspelled words, poor grammar, punctuation errors, lack of clarity, rambling, passive voice, excessive use of adverbs, problems with tense, extraneous information and bad writing habits.
If these problems are evident in your first few pages (editors will usually stop reading immediately upon seeing these problems, instead of considering the first 20-25 pages), you are likely to get a rejection slip, even if you have written the most interesting book in the history of writing. Very important: have your manuscript professionally edited before you submit it!
Sure, professional editing is an investment, but when you consider how much of your time and resources have already been invested to complete your manuscript, then you will realize it is worthwhile to make this important final investment to give your work its best possible chance for success.
If your manuscript is poorly-written and not viable for publishing, the submissions editor will send you a rejection slip (usually as a form letter). In the ongoing transformation of the publishing industry, however, editors have become more willing to invest a few moments to share concerns and suggestions in instances where the manuscript is viable, though it requires more editing than the editor is willing to take on in addition to other duties.
In these cases, the editor will provide a general Copy Editor’s Assessment, Free-of-Charge to authors who have submitted manuscripts for publishing consideration, detailing writing problems and areas of the manuscript that require editing. The editor will suggest three options: 1) an author re-edit; 2) that the author should hire a professional editor of his/her choosing; and 3) Rumpelstiltskin. After manuscript problems have been corrected, the author might have to re-submit the manuscript to a publisher (with Parnassus Press, depending on the amount of editing done, authors might be required to pay a $50 fee to have an editor re-consider a manuscript that has already been considered). Rumpelstiltskin will, however, refund/deduct the $50 fee from their editing invoices.
Copy Editor’s Recommendations
In today’s publishing paradigm, many capable authors make the brave decision to edit their own work. It is no doubt challenging, as it is next to impossible for an author to be objective in this ( and since the author had every opportunity to edit and revise before submitting the manuscript in the first place, but didn’t). Self-editing often results in frustration, so we have decided to provide a tool for authors who decide to self-edit or have the work done by a non-professional editor: Copy Editor’s Recommendations.
Our Copy Editor’s Recommendations are prepared by a professional copy editor at Rumpelstiltskin Editorial Services, who will spend three hours analyzing your manuscript (focusing on the first fifty pages), highlighting/commenting on writing problems/issues, while providing specific recommendations. This copy editor will provide detailed comments/corrections and recommendations in the following areas:
1) Passive voice – consider this
- 2) Clarification
- 3) Verb Tense – consider this
- 4) Writing Habits
- 5) Adverbs – consider this
- 6) Writing Habits
- 7) Grammar and Punctuation – consider this
In some cases, authors have friends and family members who, while they may have backgrounds in writing or degrees in English, or while some are simply geniuses, they are not professional editors. It is a good thing to have people in your lives who are incredible resources, but they cannot help you edit your manuscript unless they thoroughly understand what book editors/copy editors need from your work.
If you are going to make use of your own resources, the least you can do is provide that incredible individual with specific instructions detailing what needs to be done to make your viable manuscript publishable. So if you simply cannot afford editing (it can be expensive) or you have a resource with a good writing/English grammar background, your next best option is investing $225 for the Copy Editor’s Recommendations.
After you receive the CER (Copy Editor’s Recommendations) for your manuscript, give yourself or your resource a minimum of forty-five days to thoroughly work through the book, making necessary changes, whether they involve dialogue tags, passive voice problems, consistency, overuse of adverbs, or whatever is detailed in the copy editor’s recommendations, and only then will it be ready for initial submission or re-submission.
Preferably, if you cannot afford full editing, it is best for you to purchase the CER to make your manuscript the best it can be before you submit to any publisher.
Our price for Copy Editor’s Recommendations is $225 total, which pays a professional copy editor for three hours of manuscript analysis for books of any size, with the primary focus on the first fifty pages (about 50% less than the amount that most editorial service providers charge for a similar service).
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Pay for your CER (Copy Editor’s Recommendations) through PayPal!