Tools of a Trade


Creative Commons:


What does it take to edit? whether it’s copy editing or galley work, what tools do we use? Well, let’s start with how the manuscript usually comes to us. This is usually Microsoft Word format (doc or Docx). We then have to either send it to one of our editors in that format (which we don’t do really) or we pull it into the all-mighty InDesign (.indd format), we make sure the basic layout is easy peasy lemon squeezy and then transform said beauty into InCopy (IDML). Our editors can then log the book in and out for their assignments through InCopy – that’s called a work assignment. We get to even color-code each assignment to each editor and they do indeed or rather we indeed all have our own color code. This is what we call a workflow platform. This streamlines our ability to edit, work with the author during edits and see who had the work, who did what, and how they did it. We also use Basecamp, a project management platform where everyone checks in and communicates – even the authors.


The next step happens in the all-encompassing InDesign program. Once our editors and authors are done with their side of the bookmaking equation, it’s off to our layout gurus. They use InDesign to create a beautiful book layout in whatever size happens to fit the story the best. Sometimes this means 6×9, sometimes it’s a 5.5×8.5 with varying margins and bleeds as well of course. When that’s done, it’s all packaged up in InDesign to go off to our pre-flight team that takes a look at the files and makes sure a last spelling and grammar check gets done and that the layout has no errors present. All in all, at least four sets of eyes have gone over the files, sometimes even more than that. We are about quality, not quantity so these processes can take a very long time to complete. We aren’t about to rush through your work, we treat it like it’s our own.

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