Be assured, when we say we edit your manuscript, we really do it. Why the assurance? Well, we've salvaged work that has been published by vanity publishers, and the editing the author paid for was non-existent. The truth is, authors are often too close to their work to know if the editing and proofreading is up to par, which means you need to work with people you can trust to do the job properly. But, of course, you don't know us from Adam...
What we mean by 'Editing'
There are different types of editing, which range from a basic line edit that will tidy up punctuation and grammatical errors, to content editing, which is essentially going through your work with a fine-tooth comb. At InRoad, we will do as little or as much as you want us to do, and if we think your work needs more, we'll advise you. It's up to you whether you take that advice.
When we edit, our intention is to make sure you can present your work in the very best light. We track every change we make so you can see what we've done and accept/reject our recommendations accordingly. To track changes, we use the word processor's in-built feature - usually, this will involve working with Microsoft Word documents and the 'track changes' tool. We can also work with documents from other applications, such as Pages (Apple), Open Office, or Google Docs.
The human brain is a stunning organ. Consider, for instance, the photo below:
Now, few of us will have a problem extrapolating from experience that this is NOT an eyeless horse. Our brains are able to fill in the missing details, and we perceive a full horse's head, eye included (two eyes, in fact, because we can also extrapolate the right side of the horse from its left profile).
This is also what happens when we read paragraphs with missing words. In particular, the absence of words that have no consequence on the meaning of a sentence can be overlooked many times, which is why you'll always find errors in the 'properly published' books (i.e. the ones put out by the big publishers). Magnificent as it is, the human brain is fallible.
What we, at InRoad, can guarantee, is that your work will be proofread by at least two people, but we recommend that you – the author – also give your final edited work a thorough read-through. If possible, get someone else to read it, too. You can never have too many people read it through before publication.
Without getting too much into the technical jargon (although we'd be happy to explain if you ask), books need to be published in specific formats. These differ, depending on whether the book is a digital or printed edition, and for digital editions, it is further dependent on the ebook reader and vendor.
There are also standards for ebooks, and these change from time to time.
Through our work with Beaten Track, we have five years of experiencing in formatting books to meet the specifications of the different distributors and vendors, and we produce ebooks that display well and consistently on a variety of ebook readers, with a specific focus on the market leaders.
As part of our formatting service, we also produce a Smashwords-compatible manuscript, which doesn't allow for much in the way of styling, but it does guarantee your book will be accepted for Premium Distribution and go out to Smashwords' partners, including iBooks, Kobo and Barnes and Noble (Nook).
Stuff here about typesetting
Stuff here about cover design
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Stuff here about sales tracking/revenue