• Formatting versus Editing

    Why explain formatting versus editing?

    At Writestream Publishing, we pride ourselves on our all-inclusive packages that, among other services, include professional formatting and editing.

    What is the difference between the two?

    According to Dictionary.com,  book formatting is defined as

    1. the shape and size of a book as determined by the number of times the original sheet has been folded to form the leaves.

    2. the general physical appearance of a book, magazine, or newspaper,such as the typeface, binding, quality of paper, margins, etc.
    An example of book formatting.

    An example of book formatting.

    Basically, professional formatting pertains to the creation of the interior of a book after it has been edited for content, consistency, punctuation, grammar, spelling and typos. Depending on the publishing package selected, at the very least, a Writestream Publishing client can count on us to correct any issues with grammar, punctuation, and spelling. But whether or not your package includes an editorial assessment (focusing on logical flow and progression of content), you can rest assured your manuscript will undergo several layers of editing, before Lisa conducts the final deep edits.

    From there, we send the manuscript back to our client with the request to carefully review and inform us of any further editorial changes. This is a critical part of the process and should not be rushed, no matter how excited the author may be to bring their book to the independent publishing marketplace online. At best, we recommend taking two- to -three days to ensure complete satisfaction with the content. Because we approach editing in a collaborative fashion, involving the author every step of the way, typically there are few, if any, changes. However, if the client wishes to alter anything having to do with items including word choices, dialogue, quotes, etc., it must be done before the formatting process begins.

    An example of Kindle formatting.

    An example of Kindle formatting.

    Once in formatting, the only changes to the manuscript should involve things like fonts, justification, consistent chapter title set-up (e.g. does each chapter begin in the middle of a page?), table of content alignment, boldface or regular type, placement of photos and the like. Which reminds me: unlike many of our competitors, Writestream Publishing places no limits on the number of black and white images you can insert into your book. We wish it wasn’t so cost-prohibitive to use color, but since we have no control over this aspect of indie publishing, we’re happy to at least allow our clients as many photos as they’d like. Of course, depending upon the type of book, we’ll also make professional suggestions on how many to include.

    When a book is in the formatting phase, we can no longer add new content. Yes, if for some reason, a word gets misspelled in the process, we correct it. If a few sentences of a paragraph accidentally get cut out, we’ll re-insert them. But the time to decide you want to write another chapter or paragraph, add more names of people to your dedication or acknowledgements pages, throw in a new quote from another source, or change anything related to the actual content of the manuscript is while that manuscript is still in the editing phase.

    One of our clients, Major General Linda L. Singh, says she’s learning “to go slow to go fast” in life. With respect to editing, this is sage advice. By tempering your eagerness to publish your book by taking as much time as you need in the editing process, you can expect a smooth, efficient formatting phase, resulting in a professionally produced book you can be proud of.

    Need help with indie publishing? Contact us to set up your free, no-obligation consultation.



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