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 to 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 several years of experience 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 can also produce a Smashwords-compatible Microsoft Word document, which doesn't allow for much in the way of styling. We also provide Smashwords-compatible epub and mobi versions, which guarantees your book will be accepted for Premium Distribution and go out to Smashwords' partners, including iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble (Nook) and Scribd.
We're using the term 'typesetting' here to distinguish the formatting of books for print (from the formatting of ebooks).
Print-on-demand (PoD) services require files in a specific print-ready format (usually PDF/X-1a). Making sure your interior file is compliant is one part of our typesetting service.
The other is making sure it looks beautiful. We will discuss with you your requirements/preferences - there are some limitations, but PoD offers a fairly good range of print options (various sizes, paperback/hardcover, colour/black and white, creme/white paper).
We can create for you a unique cover designed in-house or incorporating artwork you provide.
We will produce for you a set of images in various sizes and resolutions for your book's various formats and so you can use them with various vendors, on your website/blog/social media and in marketing stationery.
There are various options available for distribution of your book. These include:
- Lightning Source Internation paperback with (optionally) Ingram distribution*.
- Amazon (Kindle);
- Smashwords + expanded distribution (which covers iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Scribd and other vendors);
- Google Play Books.
Ideally, we'd like to create your books for you and help you set yourself up as a fully independent author managing your own sales outlets and distribution. We can advise/assist you throughout the process and answer any ongoing queries you have.
If this isn't possible, we can administer your sales for you and forward revenue. Vendors pay royalties three months in arrears, and we collate sales data every quarter (i.e. quarter 1 data is collated at the end of quarter 2). Unfortunately, we aren't able to provide live sales tracking information, but we are happy to provide interim figures. We also provide a full breakdown of sales (number of sales, average list price, net royalty etc.).
Sales revenue is paid to you, minus any costs (such as distribution/admin fees) by your preferred method (usually PayPal or direct bank transfer). Please note that these services may incur additional charges, which is one of the reasons why we'd prefer to help you set up your own vendor accounts.