Writing Podcast Episode 199 What’s the difference between a structural edit, copy edit and proofread?

podcast-artworkIn Episode 199 of So you want to be a writerCan you indie publish a professionally edited manuscript? What’s the difference between a structural edit, copy edit and proofread? Plus: with multiple submissions, should you mention in your pitch that you’re submitting to other publishers?

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Show Notes

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Listener Questions

From Becs:

Hi Valerie and Allison

I have a question about editing and indie publishing. I was at the Canberra Writers Festival over the weekend and, at one of the events, someone said you couldn't indie publish an edited manuscript. They clarified that if you get your manuscript edited, the editor then has a stake in your book so you have to go back to your original manuscript and edit yourself. I'm assuming their use of the term “indie” is small boutique publishers like Pantera or Text as opposed to self publishing.

A lot of the advice I have read and heard says that you should get your manuscript professionally edited. I'd planned to do this as a new writer but I hope to go down the “traditional” publishing route and don't want to inadvertently rule out any options. Is professional editing only advisable if you're self publishing?

Thanks for your advice and for the great podcast.


From Luke:

Hey there,

I hope you're both well. I'm a fairly new listener after receiving a recommendation from a friend and have been really enjoying the episodes while exercising and while sitting in traffic on the way home, it really helps me ensure I stay in that creative mindset throughout the day. I've also been listening to old episodes, which are incredibly helpful too.

I'm hoping you won't mind answering a couple of quick questions (what! Two questions? I know…greedy).

Are you able to tell me the steps of professional editing from the point after self edits? I hear the words “line edits” and “structural edits” and was wondering what to expect at this stage?

Following on from this, when we hire an editor to go through the manuscript and then reach the point of submitting to an agent or publisher is it expected by the receivers for it to have already been edited? I understand it would then go through a whole new round of edits if accepted, however I didn't know if it's standard practice to hire an editor to make the story the best it can possibly be before submitting?

Love your work ladies, keep it up.

Luke (from the Gold Coast).

From Matt:

Hi everyone. Just to clarify on the question of multiple submissions: should you mention in your pitch to the publisher that you're submitting to others? Thanks!

Valerie and Allison answer these questions on the podcast!

Your hosts

Allison Tait

Valerie Khoo / Australian Writers' Centre

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