This service is most often used by clients wishing to prepare a manuscript for submission to a publisher or literary agent. An author may wish to have an entire manuscript assessed, or submit some opening chapters for a broad appraisal of key issues. The appraisal (sent back to the author as a two- or three-page report) typically provides advice on voice, narrative, characterisation and clarity of expression. The appraisal will also address the manuscript's effectiveness in reaching its target audience.
Also known as structural editing, this type of editing deals with the grand architecture of a piece—the pace of its narrative, how it begins and ends, the connections between passages and chapters, the order of the story. At this stage, the editor ‘diagnoses’ the piece as a whole and responds with a report detailing major issues that require attention before a line-edit can take place. Is the story clear? Does the dialogue work? Where, if at all, does the language need to be richer or simpler? Is there surplus content that is obscuring what needs to be said? Do the titles and sub-titles match the content in the passages?
And for every document, across every genre: does the piece hold the reader’s attention, and if not, how do we get it back?
This is a line-by-line edit that flags issues of spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax. Although this edit does not pay as much attention to broad matters of narrative, theme and voice as a structural edit, there is still a focus on clarity of expression. A copy edit will provide feedback on minor lapses in continuity, definitional errors and style inconsistencies.
This is the final stage of editing and often deployed by those who have a sound document, close to completion. This is a polishing, a casting of a fresh pair of eyes over spelling, punctuation and style errors that may have slipped through at the copy edit stage.
In addition to providing editorial feedback, Katia will inform clients about any general publishing issues that may arise. Manuscripts are read with a knowledge of potential legal issues (copyright infringement, defamation), giving the client a ‘heads-up’ in the editorial report. Katia will also advise authors on the kinds of publishing houses they might approach with a book-to-be, as well as professional development they might undertake to improve their skills.