A query letter is a vital document for writers seeking traditional publishers or literary agents. It’s a short letter that includes critical details about your book – genre, word count, title, synopsis – as well as demonstrates your awareness of the market. The query also includes a few details about you – the author! A good query letter will pique an agent’s interest and lead to requests for a partial or full manuscript.
Special attention must be paid to the tone, structure, length and focus of the letter. Writing one is a significantly different exercise from writing a novel and often requires professional help. Many editors have worked with and received numerous query letters over their professional lives and can help you craft yours into a convincing and astute document.
An editorial assessment is a valuable first overview of your manuscript by a professional editor. Your editor will read through the entire manuscript and provide thoughtful, in-depth feedback concerning elements such as plot, characterization, structure, consistency, and style.
Feedback from an editorial assessment can lead to significant changes to your manuscript. It will identify your book’s strengths and weaknesses, and help you devise a revision strategy that dramatically improves the execution of your idea.
An editorial assessment can also help you determine if your work is ready for query. When paired with a query letter review, the assessment can help bring a much needed polish to your querying package before you start contacting agents.
Developmental editors look at everything — the forest and the trees, side-by-side. They make your whole book fit together better by examining everything from individual words to overall structure. Nothing is sacred; developmental editing leads to rewriting as often as it does revision, so expect your work to change substantially.A developmental editor lets you know when major changes need to be made: cuts, additions, total restructuring, and other hard truths. Your editor should counsel you on your target audience and inform you about the industry standards for your genre. Bring in a developmental editor when you're ready to move beyond drafting, or when you feel something is missing and you need someone to help you see what it is.
Copy editors are mechanics for language: they edit your book's text or "copy." Fiction or non-fiction, academic or populist, YA or Sci-Fi copy editors help create the most readable version of your book.They'll make sure your manuscript isn't riddled with bad grammar, spelling mistakes, or glaring inconsistencies. They'll break up your 50-word sentences into smaller ones that readers won't skim. They'll catch scenes where your antagonist is wearing sunglasses and spectacles at the same time. They'll save your tone and style from unintentionally wild shifts between sections. They will pull your book together page by page.Note that many copy editors will not explain all their recommendations, but you can always ask for further clarification if you're unsure why a change was made.
Your cover is the first thing potential readers will see when browsing Amazon or another store. A book cover can be either a single image (for ebooks) or a PDF file (for physical books). Professionals designers know the requirements of the main ebookstores (Kindle Store, iBookstore, etc.) and print-on-demand services (Blurb, Createspace, Lulu, BookBaby, Ingram, etc.) and will be able to guide you through the process.
You might think: why would I need to create a physical book? Well, it's because a majority of books sold are still in a physical format. Making a print book is more complicated, but it’s also magical: there’s no feeling like holding your own book in your hands.
Apart from knowing all the requirements to push your book to market, book cover designer are also Photoshop wizards: after reading your book, they will combine or create different images and typographic elements to produce an image that matches your story.
Here’s the information you should provide when getting in touch with a designer:
These are all questions that help kickstart the conversation and form the design brief. Once the work has started, you can expect some back-and-forth with your designer until you get the final result.
Typesetting, book interior design, or book layout is the art of composing text for print or digital display.
As for your cover, designing the interior of your book is a different process depending on whether you're looking to produce an ebook or a print book.
When it comes to print books, there are a lot of layout decisions that will influence the way readers experience your content: fonts, spacing, styling of chapter headings, margins, etc. A book layout designer will take care of this for you and produce a print format in accordance with the expectations of the readers of your genre.
The more varied the book in terms of content (charts, illustrations, photos, recipes, poems, etc.), the more important the work of the book interior designer.
When it comes to ebooks, most of them are "reflowable", which means that the content adapts to your reading preferences and the dimensions of the device you're using, basically behaving like web pages. However, if you're looking to produce a more visual ebook with many illustrations, you might opt for a fixed-layout ebook. That way, your content will always be displayed the same way, on all devices.
Though digital formats have somewhat standardized layouts and reduced possibilities to stand out from the crowd, print books still dominate the market and offer countless experimental possibilities.
Creating a beautiful interior for your book represents an opportunity to differentiate yourself and establish a brand.
Proofreading is the final step in the editing process. It’s the ultimate polish on your final files before they go to the printer or digital press. Ensuring that a manuscript is free from tiny spelling and punctuation errors is critical. Many authors even hire more than one proofreader, double checking that absolutely no mistakes get through.Proofreading requires a keen eye for detail and a systematic method for spotting every subtle error and typographical mistakes.
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