Home/The Editorial Process

Posts and articles exploring what editors do, how we work, and what writers can expect from the process of working with a professional editor.

Spotlight on Editing for Science, Nature, Environment, and Animal Advocacy Books Book planning, book proposal development, manuscript critique, developmental editing, line editing, and fact-checking with bestselling author Jonathan Balcombe

Neil deGrasse Tyson once said: “Science literacy is the artery through which the solutions of tomorrow’s problems flow.” If you’re a nonfiction author who’s serious about educating readers and improving public literacy with anything related to science, the environment, or the natural world and its inhabitants, then we’re glad you’re here. The Editorial Department has an experienced science editor on staff to help you craft a fine work of writing and dramatically improve your odds of successful publication.  […]

By |2020-06-20T18:46:52+00:00|General, JB, The Editorial Process|Comments Off on Spotlight on Editing for Science, Nature, Environment, and Animal Advocacy Books Book planning, book proposal development, manuscript critique, developmental editing, line editing, and fact-checking with bestselling author Jonathan Balcombe

Jonathan Balcombe on Writing, Editing, and Getting Published A bestselling nonfiction author shares his approach to editing and mentoring others

by Jonathan Balcombe

My career as a biology student, animal advocate, editor and author has required me to write at every stage: essays, lab reports, a thesis and a dissertation, peer-reviewed journal articles, testimonies, correspondence, course syllabi and lectures, even a film script. Most recently, as an author of popular science books, I have faced the challenges of writing lengthy works that seek to engage and enlighten with a narrative arc that combines science with story telling.

Writing […]

By |2020-06-20T16:50:07+00:00|JB, TED Editor Posts, The Editor’s Craft, The Editorial Process|Comments Off on Jonathan Balcombe on Writing, Editing, and Getting Published A bestselling nonfiction author shares his approach to editing and mentoring others

Revise Your Book, Hollywood-Style A novelist, screenwriter, and editor shares his take on a secret weapon for manuscript revision

by John Robert Marlow

Are you an author who

  • Has never tried using an outline?
  • Likes the idea of outlining, but gave up on it because it was too much trouble—or just didn’t work for you?
  • Uses an outline for initial story planning, but not for revisions?
  • Would rather have a root canal than use an outline?

If so, you’re not alone. Let’s face it: traditional outlines—with formatting and structure imposed by programs like Microsoft Word—can be a huge pain, especially when you want to change things. All […]

By |2019-06-17T16:44:18+00:00|Developmental Editing, JRM, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Revise Your Book, Hollywood-Style A novelist, screenwriter, and editor shares his take on a secret weapon for manuscript revision

Evaluating Nonfiction: One Editor’s Approach What can set your nonfiction manuscript up for success ... or doom it to the reject pile

by Peter Gelfan

Fiction lives or dies by the author’s storytelling and writing skills (and perseverance and some luck). For nonfiction, then, one might assume that likewise, an interesting topic well elucidated will do the job. However, the publishing industry and readers regard nonfiction a bit differently.

Subject Matter

Publishers generally have certain prerequisites for even considering a nonfiction project. The first of course is whether the subject matter has a market. In other words, they have to think that enough […]

By |2019-06-17T16:46:39+00:00|PG, The Editor’s Craft, The Editorial Process, Traditional Publishing|Comments Off on Evaluating Nonfiction: One Editor’s Approach What can set your nonfiction manuscript up for success ... or doom it to the reject pile

Spotlight on Developmental Editing An overview of why it’s needed, how it works, and what to expect from the process

When many people think of editing, they think of arcane symbols and scribbled margin notes in red or blue pencil – move this paragraph, delete these words, add a hyphen, correct that spelling, capitalize this letter. And while that is an important part of editing, it’s only one part, and it comes last.  So let’s talk about what comes first: developmental editing.

If you’re like many of us in the writing world, you wrote the first draft of your manuscript and then revised […]

By |2019-07-19T16:26:57+00:00|The Editor’s Craft, The Editorial Process|Comments Off on Spotlight on Developmental Editing An overview of why it’s needed, how it works, and what to expect from the process

Candor, Tough Love, and the Delicate Art of the Bounce How our editors handle manuscripts that aren’t ready for editing

by Ross Browne

The first thing I’d put on the table in connection with how we handle manuscripts that need a lot of work could, I hope, go without saying. And that’s that we never want to be discouraging to an author. There’s no pleasure in telling a writer that a manuscript needs rewriting rather than editing or that its flaws run deeper than even an intensive developmental edit can reasonably be expected to fix. But our commitment to telling […]

By |2019-06-17T17:08:25+00:00|Developmental Editing, RSB, The Editor’s Craft|Comments Off on Candor, Tough Love, and the Delicate Art of the Bounce How our editors handle manuscripts that aren’t ready for editing