The Writer's Manifest


About writing and the tools for it

Format Editing

This is one of the last stages of editing before a book or story is actually published. Who does this type of editing depends. Traditionally published books and magazines have their own editors to do this for the author. Independent authors and vanity presses often put this onto the author, who may do it themselves or hire editors.

In a publishing house or magazine, the Format Edit includes three types of editing. For our purposes, looking at this from the self-publishing, independent author perspective, I prefer to put them under one umbrella. To understand how to properly format your book and have it ready for print, however, it is important to look at what is involved in each sub-edit.

Production Editing

This is all of the work necessary to present your story in the format that you the author and your publisher want. For us independent authors, that publisher will be the retail platform of your choice. Some platforms, such as Amazon, are easy to use and are very forgiving when it comes to formatting. Others, such as Smashwords, are very demanding in how everything is to be formatted. If you are going to be converting Word documents yourself into .epub and other formats, then understanding how to properly format your work is vital.

Production Editing includes typesetting, page formatting, fonts, and your cover. If you include illustrations in your work, the final placement will be decided here as well. You will pay special attention not only to the flow of text around your illustrations, but how your illustrations affect page breaks.


This is the manual programming and coding that goes into Production Editing.

“But I don’t write code,” you say.

Fair enough. If you are using a program like Word to write your story, you probably will do little or no hand-coding for your formatting. You will still be taking this step, however, if you are formatting your own book. When you are making decisions about the font style, paragraph indention, and all the other little style things you need to worry about, and setting them for your pre-loaded styles in Word, you are doing Mark-up and Coding.


This is the stage when everything is put together for a Proof. If you are using a self-publishing platform like Amazon, Smashwords, or Createspace, you will not be doing the work in this. When you upload and a proof is created for you, they are the ones doing the Mock-up. Your job is to review the proof and make sure everything looks the way you want it to. If it does not, go back to your other formatting steps and fix what is wrong.

By the way, that review of your proof is what we will be talking about next time when we look at Proofreading.

Until then, good writing and good editing everyone.


Filed under: Editing, The Five Types of Editing

The Mechanical Edit

Hello everyone. Many apologies for not being back in a little while to get up the next Five Types of Editing installment. I have been very busy with the release of The Shulim Cycle Book of Susan and lots and lots of editing work. Now that I have a moment, however, I wanted to pick up where we left off: The Mechanical Edit.

The Mechanical Edit is usually the edit that authors look at and say “I hate editing.” This is a line by line edit, however it is not looking at sentence structure, voice, and transition. Instead, the Mechanical edit is concerned with four primary aspects of the work:

  • Grammar – Noun/verb agreement, proper use of prepositions, etc. Did you use words correctly – Their/there/they’re, lie/lay, for example.
  • Punctuation – Are commas, semi-colons, and periods used correctly? Are quotations punctuated properly?
  • Spelling – Did you spell words correctly? This catches not only misspellings, but also words spelled correctly, just not in context. Examples include no and not, though and thought, etc.
  • Specific Mechanical Needs – Citations, captions, and text separations are also included in the mechanical edit.

The Mechanical or Copy Edit is just what it sounds like. It is the mechanical form of the written word, making sure everything is smooth and correct. It is often called Copy Editing because it is the editing step that leads from manuscript to copy – or print.

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Filed under: Editing, Rules of Editing, The Five Types of Editing, , , , , , ,

Today is the BIG DAY!


Book of Susantitle SigMuch happiness. The Shulim Cycle Book of Susan is finished and released.

And I have to toot my own horn a little bit on this: I have used lie and lay correctly.

Seriously. I searched through the book very carefully for every iteration of lie and lay, poured through websites for references as needed, and made sure that I used it correctly each time.

I even got to use had lain.

But I digress. It was important to me to get something so small right because, well, it is a huge pet peeve of mine when people don’t. I even wrote about how to properly use the verbs some time ago. Remember? So … I thought it would be really foolish of me to use it incorrectly.

If you don’t believe me, click the link up above and buy the book.

And yes, this has been an elaborate “I just published my book, go buy it please” post. I hope that you enjoyed!

Filed under: Fiction, The Book of Susan, The Shulim Cycle, , , ,

Line Editing

Line Editing, also known as Stylistic Editing, is just what it sounds like – working over the story line by line. This is the first edit that a story goes through that involves examining the Writing Craft. In the writing process, everything up to this point has been focused primarily on the Fiction Craft.

This is a very difficult, very time-consuming edit. It is not something that can or should be rushed. All works should be put through a Line Edit. How many changes the editor will need to do will depend on the writer. Some writers are very good at the Writing Craft; others are not. All writers sit on a spectrum. It is the job of the Line Editor to make every writer look like a genius.

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Filed under: Editing, NaNoWriMo, Rules of Editing, The Five Types of Editing

Developmental Edit

So when I introduced this series, the Five Types of Editing, I mentioned that writing involves really two types of craft – Fiction Craft and Writing Craft. The edit that I’m going to talk about today is what helps build and strengthen the story through the first of those crafts, and that is the Developmental Edit. This has a few other names, depending on the editor. Developmental is the most common I have found. Another common name is the Substantive Edit.

Several types of edits make up the Developmental Edit, and each of these edits are their own skill set. I put the following type of edits under the Developmental Edit umbrella:

  • Project Editing – Coordination of the project from beginning to end
  • Structural Editing – Content and structure of the manuscript
  • Indexing – listing names, places, clothes, residences, concepts, etc.
  • Fact Checking/Reference Editing – Do you include references to poems and songs, artwork, places, etc? Are these referenced correctly and are facts about them true?
  • Picture Research – Are you including illustrations in your work? If so, where will they go? How will you reference them? Do you have the adequate permissions?
  • Rewriting – Just that: rewriting the work. This can also include rewriting other shorter snippets of stories into the new work.

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Filed under: Editing, The Five Types of Editing

The Five Types of Editing

It is that time again. It is NaNoWriMo, also known as that time when writers find themselves blocked and removed from the social networks of friends who are tired of reading things like “Oh wow! I got 1,000 words today,” “Hey look, I’m at 9,000 words. Only 41,000 to go,” and “Why can’t I write today? I have only 2,700 words and it is November 29th!”

As it is National Writing Month, this is a good time to introduce your favorite new writer to editing, and for those of you who have been doing it a while, to brush up on just what editing is.

When we say “editing” what do we mean?

Truth be told, you have to ask the person talking about the editing to know. The type of editing that a person is talking about will depend greatly on the work, and where that work is in the writing process. We have some different names for types of editing, but labels aside, they pretty much mean the same thing, and they boil down to five basic types of edits:

  • Developmental Edit
  • Line Edit
  • Mechanical Edit
  • Format Editing
  • Proofreading

I’m going to be talking about each of these in some detail in this series, The Five Types of Editing. You can see that series here at The Writer’s Manifest and as contribution to StreetWraith Press.

Before I begin talking about editing, however, I want to talk about the difference between the Writing Craft and Fiction Craft.

Oh, there is a difference.

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Filed under: Editing, NaNoWriMo, Rules of Editing, The Five Types of Editing, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Oh My Gosh, I Have a Blog!

It has been since September 10 since I’ve been here?

Can that actually be right?

Okay, to be fair, a lot has happened in 2 months. I’m finishing up a book. I’ve moved four states, and I’m launching an editing career.


Yes, you heard that right. The woman who hates to edit her own stuff – because it is so grueling have to read, re-read, and then re-read again – is editing. Why? Because I know how much writers hate to have to edit their work. I am happy, therefore, to offer a little of myself to help fellow authors get their editing done.

That I get paid for it is nice as well.

To get my name out there as an editor and build up a portfolio of work besides my own, I have launched gigs on If you know someone who needs some short works edited, please … check me out.

Eventually I’ll have my own site up for longer works, but right now, start small.

Since I’m all edit-like now, I’ll be posting up some stuff about editing very soon – like tomorrow maybe.

So I’m back. You can keep coming back again.

Oh, and don’t forget that Book of Susan will be coming out this month!

Filed under: Editing

Promotion Time!

In my head, the title sounds funnier because the Permanent Editor and I were playing a game called Dokapon Kingdom with the kid. This game is basically the Monopoly of Wii … which is to say it is a game that will split a family. :) Anyway, when you do certain level-ups the character will say “Promotion time!” and it is really cute.

So, I am gearing up for the release of The Shulim Cycle Book of Susan in November. If you want to help, please pledge to spread the word via Thunderclap. It’s easy. Just pledge and if I meet my pledge goal, then the message will go out automatically on whichever social networks you choose.

Simple. And I will be grateful if you do that. If you decide to pre-order when that opens up at the end of October, even better!


Filed under: Promotion, Self-Publishing, The Book of Susan, The Shulim Cycle

Writer Beware

Good morning fellow readers and writers.

So, if you are self-published, you are always looking for new opportunities to help you get your book out there in a way that is advantageous to you. When you see something offered, it is vital, however, that you check up on them and their claims.

Very important when it comes to this little company: Morgan James Publishing.

Their deal seems appealing on the surface. They appear to be up front about the costs and caveats.

But … “Many major houses require authors to purchase 5,000 copies, or more, of the book upon its release, usually at a 50-60% discount off retail.”

According to traditionally published authors on the forum that questions about MJ Publishing were shared on, this is not the case, especially for fiction. For non-fiction, depending on agreements and needs of mostly the author it would appear, similar things may be added to contracts. So we are talking about something that occurs only by exception – meaning that while technically it is at least a plausible claim, the addition of “most” followed by specific figures makes the claim suspect.

Which makes them suspect.

Writer beware.

Also, just in case you do not know about this awesomeness, SFWA has a resource available to everyone, member or not, to help authors look out for this type of thing. Hopefull Morgan James shows up on their list soon. Book mark this, and if you see someone, or get an email, compare them to it first before doing the rest of your research: SFWA’s Writer Beware.


Filed under: About Writing, Marketing, Rules of Being a Distributor, Self-Publishing, Writer Beware

Edits, Revision, and Rewrites, Oh My!

Thought I would give an update to where I am with The Shulim Cycle Book of Susan.

Draft Five.

That is the editing draft I am on now, with the Permanent Editor finishing the last chapters of Draft Four and soon to begin the chapters finished so far (1 as of this posting, but I’m into 2) once those are done.

Whoever says that self-published authors don’t edit did not meet me. Personally, I find it easier to edit something not my own work but … one does what one needs to.

So, what great insights do I have from this edit?

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: About Writing, Editing, Fiction, Self-Publishing, The Book of Susan, The Shulim Cycle


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