When you come to write your book, you’ll soon discover that there’s a team of other people involved in the process. They’re all going to have something to say about your writing, and they’ll each have strong opinions. But they all have an essential role to play if you want your book to be the best it can be.
Whilst each member of this team may have a different individual objective, they all share the same overall goal that the Right Book Company as a business has: to make sure your book is, quite simply, right!
It can feel a bit uncomfortable having strangers reading and commenting on your work. But these experts are there for you. They’re your personal success team and you need their help because, in the words of Ken Blanchard, none of us are as smart as all of us.
So, who will be reading and commenting on your writing? Here’s our quick guide to the different writing and editorial professionals you’re likely to encounter during your journey to published author.
Getting started can often be the hardest part of writing a book. And, even if you have already made a start, self-doubt can soon creep in and quickly leave you questioning your abilities.
A book coach is there to help you find your voice and develop your writing style. They’ll be interested in seeing how you write and what you’re producing so they can support you with advice and guidance on best practice, improving your style and finding your unique voice.
Worried about staying motivated and meeting deadlines? A book coach can help you with that. They’ll provide all the vital encouragement, wisdom and accountability that will keep you on track and on time, so you can motor towards the finish line with clarity and confidence.
You and your developmental editor both have the same goal in mind; to make sure your book says exactly what you want it to say, delivers on the lessons you want to share, and generally does the job you need it to do.
Your developmental editor is focused on the content and structure of your manuscript. They’ll work alongside you to provide their expert insight and feedback so you can hone, sharpen and shape your manuscript into a book that does the right job for you, your business and your readers.
Be prepared to be challenged from time to time, to defend your position and your decisions, and be open to new perspectives, ideas and ways of saying and doing things. But always remember that your developmental editor cares about your book. They’re there to support and work with you, so you don’t have to carry the full weight of crafting, writing, developing and refining your manuscript all on your own.
It’s not unusual for authors to feel a bit nervous and wary about the role of the copyeditor; worried that they’ll run a red pen through all their hard work or send them back to square one.
The copy editor really is your friend. Nobody else in the whole process is likely to have such an objective and laser focus on making sure your book is fit for purpose. They’ll help you polish it up for publication and make sure you’ve crossed all the ‘T’s and dotted every ‘I’.
Your copy editor will add real value to all the work you’ve done on your manuscript so far. Look at them as a fresh set of expert eyes that are focused on checking your manuscript for errors, mistakes, inconsistencies and repetition as well as accuracy in spelling and grammar, and making sure it tells the best story possible for your readers.
It’s a meticulous and highly technical role; your copyeditor will be paying close attention to making sure everything is consistent, accurate, appropriately presented, legally sound and will make sense to your future readers.
Proofreading begins once your book has finished being typeset.
The proofreader is often the first person to see your book in its final print layout, so it’s their job to check for quality and ensure the highest possible standards have been met before the book is printed.
Sometimes small errors can creep in during the typesetting process, so the proofreader will be on the lookout for these. If they do spot any residual spelling or grammar errors, they’ll be putting them right.
They’ll also be checking the contents lists are correct, everything is properly cross-referenced, and that headers, footers and page numbers are all accurate and consistent. Finally, they’ll want to make sure there are no strange design anomalies, missing pages or awkward word, line or page breaks that may spoil a reader’s enjoyment of your book.
The proofreader is your vital last line of defence against any upsetting errors finding their way into the final printed book.
What a team! Each focused on improving and honing your book at every stage and creating a world-class product that you can publish and promote with pride.
By being open to the input of others and fully understanding the true value that each of these professionals will bring to the success of your project, the book you publish is sure to exceed the expectations you had at the start.
Paul East is the Marketing and Client Services Director at the Right Book Company. For more information about how the Right Book Company can help you write, publish and promote the right book for you and your business, visit the website or request a free consultation.