Editorial services 2
The MNE-AESOP Directory of Editorial Services is divided into six parts. This is Part II and you will find complete details of our approaches to, and suggested editorial styles for, the following services:
Other parts of the Directory:
About the directory
Composition of directory
How to access directory
Summary of editorial services
Directory of editorial services
Part I: A - D
Part II: E - M (THIS SECTION)
Part III: N - Q
Part IV: R - Z
Part V:  Copy-editing style manual
Part VI:  Publishing process chart
Explanatory notes on services
Services price list
- advice, editorial
- articles and other short documents
- biographies, author
- collation of edited versions of text
- editorial assistance
- editorial development
- editorial process
- editorial process chart (Figure 1 (a)
- editorial project
- editorial proposal
- editorial training
- extra editorial work
- manuscripts (typescripts)
- production editing
- queries to author
- rekeying (retyping)
- revision (rewriting)
- structural editing
- translations (into English)
- Abridgement (reducing, cutting or slimming down) see abridgement
- Acknowledgements (to copyright holders of quoted material and to other people and organizations who have been of assistance) see also permissions
In books, acknowledgements are generally included in the prelims and are sometimes placed after the preface
EXAMPLE OF AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS PAGE
AcknowledgementsIn preparing this book, the author wishes to acknowledge the help
of many people and organizations, including particularly:
- A. B. Black
- B. C. White
- Advice see editorial reports
- Americanization (changing to US style, spelling etc.) see Americanization
- Anglicization (changing to UK style, spelling etc.) see Anglicization
- Articles (journal), essays, letters, stories and other short documents
- Bibliographies see bibliographies and reference lists
Notes on book editing
- MNE's clients which details our extensive experience in book publishing editing;
- publishing process chart which graphically illustrates how MNE can help at all stages of publishing from the initial idea to the final book.
Picture captions often need to be edited down to fit a limited amount of space or expanded where there is too much space. In books, they are also keyed to the text where cross references to illustrations, plates, figures or tables need to be tracked to avoid errors when an illustration is added or removed (see cross-references)
- Collation of edited versions of text
It is sometimes necessary to collate different versions of the text, e.g.
The truth is often far more complicated.
- version 1 is an unedited draft;
- version 2 is an edited draft: some important material from version 1 has been cut because it was not deemed relevant but it may need reinstating in
- version 3 which is a rewritten version of versions 1 and 2;
- version 4 is identical to version 3 but contains handwritten comments by an expert reader which are partly incorporated in
- version 5, which the author submitted to a publisher whose reader feeds
back to the author that what the book needs is more of the type of material that was cut from version 1 and that they are unhappy with the approach that seems to have crept into version 3 (etc.).
Our job is to provide the definitive version 6, in which we will endeavour to
render as faithfully as possible the intention and spirit of the original concept of the text and to produce a seamless edit that successfully incorporates all the elements of the text to everyone's satisfaction.
This is the final part of the editorial process before the text is ready to be released, electronically published or sent to a typesetter. It is advisable to have sorted out the the primary levels of editing, such as structural editing before embarking on copy-editing (see notes on editing levels).
copy-editing style: Full details of our style rules may be found in MNE's Copy-editing style manual, and we will apply these unless you, as publisher or author, specify alternative style rules (book, series, journal, house or otherwise).
Copy-editing is the final clarifying and polishing process in text editing which should establish:
Where, in the case of copy-editing printed paper text, the amount of marking-up is extensive, retyping may be necessary.
To avoid a confusion of different styles and reference systems, all cross references should be styled in the same way, e.g.
The cat sat on the mat (see below, Chapter 8, p. 123, for a fuller discussion of mats). The dog jumped in the bog (see above, Chapter 5, p. 87, for Marx's critique of bogs).
Cross references need to be tracked in the frequent case that the object material of the cross reference is deleted or that a reference to a chapter or figure number is no longer valid. Where text is to be set in the form of page proofs, page numbers in cross references are not inserted until proof stage (see proofreading cross references).
- Disk editing see editing on disk
- Editorial assistance
MNE will provide whatever editorial assistance is required. This applies in the case where editing is already in progress and one or other sub-function of editing is required
- Editorial development
This generally refers to the process of nurturing an editorial project, once the publisher has show interest in it as an editorial proposal, through to final draft stage. We can advise authors on how to structure and expand the elements of the proposal into:
- a synopsis and sample chapter(s) as requested by the publisher
- draft and final manuscript/text
If requested, we will undertake the writing (see rewriting and writing texts) or edit the draft(s) to the point where they are ready to show to a publisher
- Editorial process
Figure 1 (a) charts the editorial process in book publishing where MNE is hypothetically working for both publisher and author. Although it is probably unrealistic that we would copy-edit, proofread and index for the publisher the very same book that we helped to develop editorially with the author, to the point that the publisher was prepared to commission it, this may help to show where all the various editorial and other functions enter into the publishing process.
Caveat: Please also note that publishers do not often commission a book from a first-time author based on a proposal or even synopsis and sample chapter, unless they have very good reason to be convinced of its publishability.
to view Publishing process chart
- Editorial project
This generally refers to the stages through which an idea or concept is transformed into a working text. Thus, "It's at project stage" implies that it is not ready to be shown to anyone who is likely to rip it to pieces!
As far as the publisher is concerned, an editorial project is the stages between the submission of a proposal by an author (or his or her agent), where the publisher has expressed interest in seeing it in a more developed form, and the contractual commitment to publish it (see also the caveat for first-time authors)
MNE will work on editorial projects by giving editorial advice, editorial reports and helping the author with draft development.
- Editorial proposal
- Putting it together
MNE will help authors to put together an editorial/publishing proposal to send to a publisher, by:
- MNE's role: editorial not agential
It is important to make it clear that we do not act as an author's agent in representing authors to a publisher and specifically:
- we will not negotiate financially on their behalf with publishers or any other organization or parties;
- we will not solicit publishers or any other organizations or parties on their behalf;
- in the case of substantial rewrites (including co-writing and ghostwriting), where our role may be that of co-author, we may, in certain circumstances, feel justified in requesting a percentage of the royalties should the work be contracted.
As our services are editorial rather than entrepreneurial or agential, it is up to the author, or his or her agent or representative, to search out, interest and negotiate with publishers.
- Contacting publishers
We will suggest ways in which you could approach a publisher, but only from an editorial point of view.
- Solicited and unsolicited manuscripts (typescripts)
Publishers are ofen inundated with unsolicited manuscripts, i.e. those sent to them without invitation and by authors of whom they have no knowledge and who are not represented by agents.
If you do send a manuscript or editorial proposal unsolicited, you may have to be prepared to wait longer for a decision and, unfortunately, your work may not receive the same level of consideration that a publisher might give to the same proposal sent by an agent.
It may in the long run be helpful to you to find a reputable literary agent who will represent you to the publisher and whom the publisher knows and has dealings with. They should advise you on the appropriate publisher and be experienced in making the right approach; negotiate terms on your behalf (get you the best deal) and advise you on your financial and career interests, which may not of course be the same as the publisher's interests.
- Decision to publish
Waiting for a publisher to make a decision about your proposal can be long and agonizing, but it is important not to pester them too much. If you or your agent has not received an acknowledgement of receipt of manuscript within a week or ten days, you should contact the editorial department and let them know. This is useful:
- to establish some kind of personal contact
- as a way of checking them out
- to bring to their attention that they have your work
After that, wait! If you have nor heard anything after 4-6 weeks, you can send them a tactful reminder. After two months, you can make your reminder a little more insistent, though you may by now have got the message that they are just not interested.
- "We are not interested at the present time"
All rejection letters from publishers have a depressing similarity. Try not to read too much into what is standard phrasing. Unless you really believe the publisher has missed the point and you are offering something that can only go to that publisher, try a different one or rethink your proposal.
- Rethinking your proposal
If, in rejecting the proposal, the publisher gives you advice, follow this up and contact us. We will help you rewrite the proposal, whether it is a synopsis or a full text, in the light of the publisher's comments and our own judgement.
- "We would be very interested in seeing the completed text"
In this case the publisher isn't prepared to make any commitment on the basis of a synopsis, but have expressed an interest which means they will give the finished manuscript careful consideration. In this case, it will only be "finished" in the sense that they will be able to get a much better idea of both its publishability and your ability to write.
MNE will help you develop the proposal to a stage where you can submit it to the publisher, by
- The editorial proposal goes to sales and marketing
The proposal has now reached the point where the publisher's editor is prepared either to consult sales and marketing on, or persuade them of, its publishing viability.
After what may have been a long wait, the result of this meeting could be that an enthusiastic editor asks you to submit instantly three more proposals, four new chapters, revamp it to highlight one small aspect of it which they feel has great publishing potential or because they realize that it could outsell a similar work by a competitor.
Don't panic! MNE will help you revise the proposal in the light of publishers' sales and marketing requirements.
Before any publisher will make a commitment to publish they will have to do a costing based on estimated production costs, print run, overheads, distribution costs, retail price, author's advance and royalties, and other factors such as likely sales of foreign rights, serial rights and book club rights. If the manuscript is already too long or the setting requirements too complex it may be too expensive to produce and they will not be able to make a profit.
At this stage an apologetic editor may come back to you and ask for further revision, such as:
MNE will help you to revise, expand or abridge the text in the light of publisher's costings.
- substituting more textual material for the illustrations that were originally intended but which cannot be financially justified;
- reducing or expanding the overall text length to fit a series format or simply to reduce the production costs.
- Agreement to publish: you sign the contract
Success! The publisher has accepted your proposal and wants to draw up a contract. After the euphoria and a short or long interval, the contract arrives and you (perhaps with the help of your agent) check the small print which now requires you to write 40,000 more words than you had planned, or commits you to deliver two more books on the same subject in the next three years.
MNE will help you:
- plan your writing schedule and
- expand your text
- develop spinoffs from your ideas.
- Editorial training
MNE gives editorial training to writers and editors. We will also submit to editorial training ourselves when necessary.
- Extra editorial work
MNE will provide extra editorial work after editing has been completed by another party and in the event that an editorial process is incomplete, absent or requires double-checking.
MNE has extensive experience in both writing and editing fiction. See:
- Files see editing files
- Glossaries see editing glossaries
- Indexes see editing indexes
- Manuscripts (typescripts)
- MNE-AESOP will retype manuscripts to the correct standard for submitting to a publisher. In particular we will ensure that they are:
- clearly typed with no literals (typing errors)
- paginated (page numbers inserted)
- double-spaced or at least 1.5 spaced
- clearly presented and formatted, with new chapters and major sections within prelims and end-matter (e.g. Preface, Glossary, Bibliography) beginning on new pages.
- See Prelims for more information on setting these out.
(b) Delivery of manuscript
See also editing books and other editing sub-functions, especially if the typescript is a full-length work.
- To and from author or publisher to MNE
Please note: this section (1) refers to details of posting manuscripts from author or publisher to and from MNE and not to the contractual process of manuscript delivery of the manuscript by the author to the publisher which is dealt with in section (2).
Please contact us before posting to arrange the safest means of delivery and, if the text is not on disk, please make sure you have made a copy.
If you are posting within the UK we will return the manuscript by Royal Mail special delivery (registered). If you are posting from outside the UK we will return by:
There will be additional charges for postage and packing.
- parcel post (standard)
- air mail (faster)
- international courier (urgent)
At your request we will scan the typescript and edit on disk. If you can send us both the typescript and the disk version we will mark up editorially in red on the manuscript and also edit on disk, so that you can see what changes have been made.
If your typescript is already heavily marked or badly typed and illegible, and scanning is not possible, we will, at your request, do a retype.
- Contractual delivery of manuscript
This section refers to the agreement in publishers' contracts to "deliver" the manuscript by a certain date and this comes before the copy-editing process (see Stage 2: Editorial project development in Figure 1(a) which shows the process of editing that leads from contractual agreement to publish to delivery of manuscript).
If MNE is editing an author's manuscript prior to delivery to the publisher, we will bring it in on time so that it goes to the publisher by the contractual delivery date.
This section refers to handing over the final copy-edited manuscript either to:
At this stage all accompanying documents (such as prelims, figures, tables, illustrations) will also have been prepared and edited by MNE and accompanying forms (copy preparation specifications, handover form, artwork catalogue, stylesheet etc.) will have been completed and all queries resolved.
- the publisher who has sent it to MNE (usually to a desk editor who co-ordinates its handing over to the production department);
- the author for whom MNE has done the editing or copy-editing.
MNE has extensive experience in writing and editing non-fiction. See subject areas for complete details of all our editorial services in non-fiction publishing and published work for details of our non-fiction books.
The prelims (preliminaries) are simply all the pages in a book that come before the main text. Although publishers will insert their own copyright pages (generally page iv) and other pages pre-designed to their own templates, MNE generally supplies all the pages of the prelims which relate editorially to the text (e.g. contents, lists of figures etc.) will supply all prelim pages to authors and publishers in editing a text if requested. These generally consist of the following:
Other optional prelim pages are:
- page i: half-title page - generally displays the title only;
- page ii: half-title verso - often displays a list books by the same author
- page iii: title page - generally displays:
- subtitle (if any)
- author's (or authors') position, academic or otherwise (sometimes)
- series (if any)
- year (occasionally)
- publisher (if any)
- publisher's logo (if any)
- page iv: copyright page, listing:
- who owns copyright
- publishing history
- publisher's address
- British Library Cataloguing in Publication data
- Library of Congress data
- printer's (or typsetter's) name and address
- binder's name and address
- list of copyyright holders of quoted material (sometimes)
- author's dedication (sometimes, if there's room; the dedication can be useful as a filler for a blank page in the prelims so it tends to pop up on different pages)
- page v (and following pages) contents
(see Copy-editing style manual for MNE's contents style)
(see also Copy-editing style manual for MNE's prelims lists style
- Production editing
This generally refers to all the stages in the production of a finished book from handover of the manuscript from the copy-editor to the desk-editor or production editor/manager. They include:
- Production sends to typesetter
- book design: typographical and pictorial
- cast-off (estimating length)
- jacket production: design and incorporation of jacket copy
- production sends all setting copy to typesetter
- Proof stage
- Final stage
- delivery to warehouse
- distribution to sales outlets (usually bookshops, book clubs and libraries)
- book launch
- Queries to author
It is vital is during the later stages of copy-editing that all outstanding editorial queries are dealt with speedily and efficiently by publisher and author, especially in any commercial publishing programme, where late delivery to printers and typesetters can be very costly.
MNE endeavours to minimize the risk of late queries by ensuring that they are sent to the author as early as possible and warn publishers if there are going to be delays.
- cross-reference: if we are confused we will query (see cross-references)
- factual: if we can fact-check or verify data we will, though sometimes only the author can tell us his or her mother's maiden name!
- the source is available to us: we check (or spot check where there are many quotes); if misquoted we query;
- the source is unavailable to us: in quoted material, a reference to a name or phrase can sometimes look wrong - we query;
- obscurities in the text: these could be anything from missing pages (usually xeroxing or printing errors) to confusing syntax, in which case MNE will always try to make an intelligent guess but not assume that we know better than the author;
- sexism: perhaps not surprisingly, this often emerges at copy-editing stage, where detailed editing reveals, usually inadvertently, many references to male holders of posts ("If your bank manager gives you a hard time, tell him you will move your account to another bank.");
- structural (see structural editing): these should normally have been resolved by copy-editing stage.
- Rekeying (retyping)
If a typescript is too heavily marked, or too illegible to be scanned, or there are many additional handwritten pages, MNE will retype it (or rekey onto disk) at your request. If you have also asked us to edited it, we are prepared to offer you three versions (on disk or as hard copy, or both if you request it):
- your original typescript
- a retype without editing
- an edited version of the retype
Of course in normal circumstances version (2) would seem to be unnecessary, in which case it makes more sense from a time and cost point of view to retype and edit at the same time, but it could well be useful or even essential not to edit a retype:
- if the original manuscript is a primary source that should not be edited, e.g. diaries, records;
- if it should prove necessary to undo any editing or rewriting but not have to refer back to the original, possibly illegible manuscript;
- so that the author can check the sense of the original version (1) in its retyped form (2), against the edited version (3).
- Revision see rewriting
- Role of sales and marketing
Sales and marketing decisions tend to govern publication of books and publisher's editors can sometimes be understandably protective in nurturing the editorial development of a project before unleashing it at an editorial/sales meeting.
MNE will try to guide authors in how to respond editorially to decisions made by sales and marketing on:
- how the text should be weighted to appeal to a market:
these kinds of decisions sometimes have devastating effects on authors who feel they are compromising their work to market forces, but it is important to be guided by the sales force's experience: if the market isn't there, nobody will read the book and it could find itself being remaindered or even pulped within a couple of years;
- what should be left out and
- what should be inserted.
We will try to give the author a balanced view and help you satisfy all parties without feeling you have irretrievably compromised your work.
If this all sounds negative, remember that if you get an enthusiastic sales team behind you your chances of actually making some money out of your work will be hugely increased.
And of course they might just be right when they find the text too literary or illiterate; heavy or slight; confusing or simplistic; pretentiously avant-garde or appallingly out of date.
- Structural editing of texts
Stylesheets list all the style decisions that have been made by the copy-editor in styling and also draw to the typesetter's attention any special typographical features such as:
- quotations and extracts
- special sorts (accents, symbols etc.)
MNE provides a stylesheet for every text we edit, so that you will be able to check at proof stage all previous decisions regarding copy-editing.
Please note: this stylesheet will conform as far as possible to MNE's Copy-editing style manual
but may, for various reasons, override it.
- Synopses for editorial proposals
- Theses and dissertations
- Translations (into English)
The expenses MNE normally charge are for the following:
- fares or petrol for journeys directly involved with a specific job
- substantial phone or online connection charges when relating to a specific job
- purchase of books etc. when required to do so by client for purposes of research for a specific job
MNE will convert all measurements in text from imperial to metric equivalents and vice-versa.