“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.” - William Shakespeare
Double, Double: Our Two-Pass Method
When editor shopping, authors often run into a comparison problem. It seems as though every editor and editing company offers something slightly different and may use the same words to describe dissimilar services. Such diversity means that authors can find exactly what they’re looking for, but it also means they need to be careful while looking. At Joy Editing, we’ve always offered a two-pass edit. When we receive a manuscript for line or content editing, we read the book once as a reader. We make almost no changes during the first pass, so why do we do this? Why take the time to read a book that we’re going to have to go back through and edit?
The first, and most important, reason is that all of our team members are readers first. We LOVE to read. It’s what drew us to editing and proofreading to begin with. And a lot of the books we work on are really good. Have you ever been so wrapped up in a story that you didn’t care what the spelling was like, you just wanted to know what would happen? Now imagine your editor feeling that way. We’re always excited to have a book that pulls us in and won’t let go, but it’s difficult to do our jobs properly when we’re completely absorbed in the story.
Occasionally, we get books that have major problems. Doing a first read-through allows our editors to help identify those problems and provide guidance so the author can make adjustments before resubmitting the manuscript for editing. Or if the book presents minor issues, the editor can ask for clarification that will help her shape the book during editing.
Doing a first read-through of a book also allows us to get a feel for the flow of the book. If a scene drags or if a problem gets resolved too easily, we’re more likely to notice if we’re not stopping to fix something in every other sentence.
Lastly, you would not believe some of the errors we catch because we’ve read the book already. We’ve seen characters spell their names differently, or change their names completely, halfway through the book. We’ve seen repetitive information and contradictory information. We often run across plot or character inconsistencies that didn’t stand out in our first read-through. Sometimes timelines don’t match up, and we wouldn’t know if we didn’t already know what was going to happen next. Having the whole story in our heads while we’re editing can make a huge difference in the quality of the edit.
And one bonus reason why we do a first read-through? Our clients love getting feedback right away!
Let's hear it for our authors' June releases!
Piper Rayne, My Lucky #13
Don't forget to let us know when your books we've worked on release. We love celebrating with you!
Until next month, take care, stay cool, and don't neglect your poolside reads!