Editorial Procss and Covers

How does your editorial process work?

When we offer a contract on a book we discuss our proposed editorial revisions with the author at that time, so he/she understands the level of revision necessary. The specifics of the revision may come after the contract, but we are up front about how much work we think will be necessary to bring the book to the level of quality we target in our list. If we think you need to scrap an entire subplot and replace it with a new one, we won't keep that information to ourselves. We'll tell you so you can make a good decision as to whether Bell Bridge Books is a good fit for you.

Once the author has completed the initial round of revisions, our editor performs a very thorough line edit and copy edit on the novel.A line edit tweaks minor content ("I think you need another sentence here for clarity,") while a copy edit corrects typos, misspellings, and punctuation.

The editor then sends the edited manuscript to the author for review. This phase of editing is the author's final opportunity to make any significant revisions to the novel. Dedications, bibliographies, author acknowledgements, and all other extra material must be added at this time.

After the author and editor agree that the manuscript is ready, it goes to production. A book designer formats the manuscript, placing the text into its final page design for publication -- this is how the book will look when printed.

The designer sends the author and editor a pdf file, called a galley or page proof,for final approval.

Both the author and editor carefully read this galley/page proof in one last attempt to catch any lingering mistakes.But this edit is designed ONLY for error correction such as typos,misspelled or missing words, incorrect or missing punctuation. No content rewrites, even just a word or sentence,can be done in this phase.(Well, it can be done but it's expensive and will come out of your pocket.)

The author is required to submit a list of galley corrections including page numbers AND line numbers. There are no line numbers in the pdf file so yes, this means the author has to count the lines and identify the line number for each correction.

Generally, this final proofing phase should result in a list of no more than two single-spaced pages of very minor corrections. Those are then forwarded to the designer, who installs them in the galley.

Then the finished galley goes to the printer. All done!

Will I have any input into the design of my cover?

Yes and no. We ask authors to suggest cover styles and images they like, and to submit lists of published novels with covers they love.

While we take the author's suggestions into consideration while designing the art, ultimately we make the decisions based on marketing trends in the book's genre and the availability of appropriate art.

As a courtesy, we generally ask the author to approve the cover and all cover text, but again, we make the ultimate decisions.

We strive to give our authors covers of which they can be proud, and we work very hard to make our cover designs competitive with those of the biggest publishing houses.