October 31

Editing vs. Publishing A Beginners Guide


Editing vs. Publishing A Beginners Guide

Recently I’ve been working with several authors to help them put together Book Marketing Action Plans.  In the process I’ve realized that many first time authors are confused about the differences between book editing and book publishing.   Although the two services are complementary of each other, they are still distinct parts of the process of creating a book.  Here’s a quick explanation of editing vs. publishing:

editing vs. publishingAn editor’s services are designed to help make sure that the manuscript of your book is free of errors and as readable as possible. Editors look for grammatical, punctuation, spelling, and usage errors that will affect the clarity of the book. They also make suggestions regarding content, clarity, and pacing, making sure that the book is readable and enjoyable. A book riddled with errors, confusing phrases and a rushed pace will not be enjoyable and therefore not as successful.

It is important to note that an editor is NOT a publisher! Editors focus on the manuscript and its content, not on how to format the book for print, find a cover, and market it. Although some publishers do provide editors for their authors, the editors are not the ones who ultimately publish the book. Some people may offer both services, but you need to check with them beforehand. Do not assume that you will be receiving publishing as part of the editing fee or vice versa-that is often not the case.

An editor’s job should be completed before the publishing process begins. The book needs to be edited and error-free before it should be published.

Once the book has been edited, then it is time to start the publishing process. This is the part where the manuscript is changed into the final format the book will take on, the cover is selected, the page number is finalized, the ISBN numbers are assigned, and the book is ultimately put into circulation (either in print or on an e-book format).

There are a couple different ways to publish: through a publishing house or self-publishing by using tools such as CreateSpace. It is important to have the help of someone who has experience with self-publishing tools to guide you through the process. This person might be your editor, but it’s important to understand that editing and publishing are different processes that work together.

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About the Author

I’m dedicated to helping motivated entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and small business owners understand how to find their voice, get clarity and take the right action towards growing their business and making money, both online and off. I’ve worked with hundreds of small business owners and entrepreneurs and I know first-hand the struggles they face. I’m a teacher and a doer: I actually use the same strategies and tactics that I share in my trainings.

Kate Bourland

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Editing vs. Publishing A Beginners Guide

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  1. Hi Katie,
    Nicely explained. The problem is that too many who are self publishing (nothing wrong with that!) virtually skip the editing part entirely, or rush it because they want to publish as soon as they finish writing.
    It’s a vital part of the process,

  2. Thanks for the comment Gordon. Editing is not a not an option. Reading a book that didn’t go through the proper editing process is painful.

  3. You are so right about it being painful to read an ebook or book that has not been edited. And unfortunately, it is more common than most of us think.

    When you see mistakes on page after page, it isn’t long before your focus is on spotting the errors instead of the message.

    And while word editors are good for spotting spelling errors and basic grammar mistakes, they cannot tell the difference between the use of words like to, too, and two.

    It is good to have a second pair of eyes to read your manuscripts simply because it is hard to spot our own mistakes.

    I think the hardest thing in publishing is creating the book cover. This is something I usually outsource. I have never used CreateSpace but will take a look see to see what it has to offer. For ebooks, I use SpeedyProfitCreator. It includes the legal disclaimers, author page, a table of contents, references and more.

  4. Thanks for this post, Kate. I have always wondered what exactly does a pubisher do and now I have better idea. It is indeed crucial to have a very readable and friendly book, both content and layout. So yes, both have its own importance!

  5. You did a great job defining the difference between editing and publishing. Too many look to the publishing hoping to start making sales and often ignore the importance of editing. And with the number of ways you can release a book (including Kindle books), it is even easier to skip steps (and the quality that goes with it). Thanks for the share. 🙂

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