Your manuscript is not ready for the public when you submit it to a publisher—and you probably know that. But self-published books that go to press without professional editorial intervention look, quite simply, unprofessional—and that can limit your readers' enjoyment of the book and even cut into your sales. All of our books are professionally edited and designed, which elevates your book to an entirely different level.
Our editorial staff has done this work for some of the top university and theological presses in the world. They will copyedit your book according to the Chicago Manual of Style, AP style, or another mutually agreed-upon editorial style, all without changing your voice. In fact, we always discuss any significant stylistic issues that arise during editing, and you retain final approval of the manuscript. But to be a PastorsPress.net book, every manuscript must go through a thorough copyediting process.
What Our Copyeditors Do
We check for consistency of capitalization, number usage, spelling, spacing, hyphenation, grammar, tense, sense, logic, flow . . . everything you’d expect from a thorough line edit, plus tactful queries of difficult or syntactically problematic passages. If your manuscript includes scholarly documentation, we format all that consistently, too.
So much of what goes into making a book a top-notch publication takes place at this stage—even before design. An important part of our editorial process is preparing the manuscript for production. Using HTML or XML coding (or both), we make your manuscript a much easier document for designers to turn into a book. We strip out all the noise in your manuscript in the form of extra spaces, extraneous tabs, tables, and boxes — and other unnecessary design elements that typesetters ultimately delete or replace anyway.
Once we’re done with it, your manuscript will likely look much different from the one you submitted. It will look like a manuscript that is routed at the big publishing houses, and it makes designers happy and editors’ work easier.
What Our Copyeditors Do Not Do
We do not help you develop from scratch or significantly restructure your manuscript. For certain types of manuscripts, we can make referrals in those areas.
Simple Rate Structure; No Hidden Charges
Our rates are based on billable pages that assume a count of 250 words per page. To figure out how much your book will cost to copyedit, take your final word count and divide it by 250. For example: a 50,000-word manuscript divided by 250 equals 200 billable pages.
Copyediting rates range from $7 to $11 per page. Different rates depend on the amount of editing required. A basic technical copyedit (style, capitalization, simple grammatical fixes, number usage, spelling, etc.) would fall more toward $7/page. Manuscripts requiring a higher level of editing necessitate higher rates.
Charges at the $11 end of the scale might come with academic material requiring extensive reworking of documentation (notes and bibliography), or in cases in which English is not the author’s primary written language. If extensive rewriting of any kind is required, the rate could also go above $11/page, but the author approves the rate in any case before work begins. We don't want surprises at the invoicing stage from either party's perspective.
The editing process is as follows:
Page rates above include two go-rounds with the author. Additional passes are billed at $50 per hour.
What Is Proofreading?
You should definitely proofread your own book—perhaps even have a friend or colleague read it—but know that neither replaces the work of a professional proofreader.
Our PastorsPress.net proofreaders have done this work for some of the top university and religious presses in the world, and they’ll put the final polish on your book, giving its pages a thorough character-by-character quality-control check.
Except in the rarest of cases—for example, a reprint of historical documents or church records—there’s no such thing as “only proofreading” a manuscript. Instead, proofreading is the last step in the editorial process, usually done simultaneously with indexing once the book has been typeset. Elements of proofreading are, of course, included in copyediting, but much of what goes into proofreading can actually only happen once the book is in production.
Not only is this separate proofreading step designed to catch any errors that still remain after the copyediting stage (in a 200-page manuscript, a copyeditor might conservatively make 10,000 keystrokes of corrections) but also to check the designer’s work: contents page, title pages, running heads, page numbers, hyphenation and justification, typographic consistency, an so on. All of that is in addition to what people typically think of when they hear “proofreading”: spelling and obvious grammatical mistakes.
What Does It Cost?
Proofreading rates based on the following trim sizes:
5½ x 8½ = $1.75/page
6 x 9 = $2/page
Every page of a book is proofread.
What Is Indexing?
An index is the alphabetical list of terms at the back of a book that tells readers the pages on which those terms are found. An index is not a concordance, which shows every instance of a word’s appearance in a book, but a thoughtful presentation of the content of your book.
Not every book needs an index, but those with many names, events, or concepts certainly are easier to navigate if they include one. Indexing takes place after the typeset pages are finalized and no longer subject to change.
No doubt, indexes can be daunting. Most authors throw their hands up in frustration at trying to write a professional-quality index; most editors don’t even attempt them. PastorsPress.net indexers are experts at crafting indexes the old-fashioned way; we've just done away with the index cards. We create thorough, easy-to-comprehend indexes based on a careful beginning-to-end read of your book.
We write the index your book requires: topics and names, a names-only index, or even a scriptural index — all of which add value to your book.
As we like to say at PastorsPress.net, indexes are for two types of readers: people who’ve read your book and people who haven’t.
What Does It Cost?
Indexing rates based on the following trim sizes:
5½ x 8½ = $4.25/page
6 x 9 = $5/page
Not every page of a book is indexed. In most cases, indexable pages are the Introduction through the last page of the last chapter.
Scriptural indexes are billed on their length. A general guide is as follows:
< 3 entries per page = $3/page
4–9 entries per page = $4/page
10+ entries per page = $5/page
Books that include extensive referencing of ancient noncanonical literature may incur extra charges.