This editorial service, which combines thorough language editing with just a touch of development support, is unique to The Book Specialist. Intelligent copy-editing is my most popular service, and it’s ideal for authors who want a compromise option between language-only copy-editing and intensive developmental editing.
In a straightforward copy-edit, I focus on language only; it is beyond the remit of copy-editing to make any suggestions for content development. At the other end of the spectrum, in a developmental edit I roll up my sleeves and work to develop all the other aspects of the book, like structure, pace, plot, characters and setting. I devised intelligent copy-editing to bridge the gap between these two different services, and provide a cost-effective package for authors.
In a publishing house, a book goes through at least one round of developmental editing before copy-editing, followed by proofreading. Ideally, that is the process that all authors would follow in preparing a book for publication.
However, commissioning developmental editing for a book, followed by copy-editing and then proofreading, is an investment of time and money that some authors are unable to make.
The obvious answer is to commission a copy-edit only, and skip the developmental editing entirely. But what if your book contains glaring developmental issues, the kind that reviewers will delight in pointing out? Your kindly copy editor may point out a real humdinger (I usually do), but it’s beyond the scope of copy-editing to keep flagging up queries about plot, characters, structure, setting and so on.
What the budget- and time-conscious author needs is copy-editing with just a dash of developmental input, which is where my intelligent copy-editing service comes in.
This comes after (or in the place of) developmental work, and before proofreading:
My intelligent copy-editing service comprises:
I use Microsoft Word’s Track Changes tool when I copy-edit to mark up my suggested amendments. The marked-up file for intelligent copy-editing looks like this:
With Track Changes, you keep complete control of your book. You can clearly see my mark-up, and then choose for yourself which changes to accept or reject.