The fourth stage of editing is neither the hardest nor the most intensive. This is the Formatting Edit, also sometimes called the Copy Edit. And of all the services we provide, it's the least intensive edit we do.
The Format Edit is the last check. Here we clean up typos, we set all the margins, add in any photos or graphs, charts, links or anything else you'd expect. We create a copyright page, a chapter page, title pages. In short, we turn a bunch of words on a computer program into a publishable PDF (or other ebook format) with all the bells and whistles attached.
We turn your manuscript into a book.
Is this publishing? No. No, what this does is give you a file that you can use to directly publish wherever you see fit. You'll also notice this doesn't include cover art or the back of the book synopsis. These features are, to put it bluntly, not our job... currently. I can't get into too much detail today, but someday we may branch into a small, web-based publishing platform. But until then, we're exclusively editors who've been through the publishing process and want to help you get through it with as little blood-loss as possible! =)
Now, our Formatting Edit relies on the authors to provide their own artwork to add in. If you can't do that on your own, check out our ShadoWings list! We're always collecting more and more of a wide variety of artists and other Indie professionals who'll work for a commission. We recommend checking out each and every one of them!
So, what about if you don't want to go through a traditional publisher? I mean, that's fair. Sometimes you just wanna publish something on your blog or a book hosting site. That's covered too. While we can't promise anything about images, you will find several options available.
At the end of the Formatting Edit you will receive 1: PDF doc, 1: dot--RTF file, 1: Kindle Ebook compatible file and 1: Manuscript Format RTF file to submit to agents or other reviewers. Bonus, if you need us to customize the format for something specific, you can add on a Custom File option for only $5.00 usd.
Technically, we'll do a Formatting Edit for any customer, even without use of any of our other services (even without a Beta Review!!) But, if you pay for our Beta Review service and at least one of the advanced options, we offer this service for free.
You want to DIY? Well... I'm sorry to say this, but there's not really any shortcuts. You have to knuckle down and learn the in's and out's of formatting. We have a few guides available, but you're in for a lot of the boring kind of reading and sheer mountains of text. But the work is worth the reward! If you're going the self-publishing route, you WILL need to know all of this on your own. No exceptions. Even using our services, you'll always be haunted by formatting challenges.
And formatting on individual websites? You'll have to learn their specs. One quick tip, an RTF (Rich Text Format) file will "usually" convert to everything. Sometimes you'll have to realign text, add extra spaces or tabs, and you'll most likely have to re-italicize everything. But RTF transfers much better than pretty much anything else. Plus it's super easy to convert. Just select RTF when saving your file.
PDF's, on the other hand, are the best format for the finished book. There's a reason publishers require PDF's and why office docs end up printing as PDF's. Nothing says "professional" quite like a PDF.
Lastly, Manuscript Format is useful for sending to a book agent. You will want to double check their specific requirements, but most agents will want your story in Manuscript Format to begin with. Plus, if you DO need to make specific changes, our MS format can serve as a reliable base to make copies of.
All that said, here's our formatting guides to get you started: