The Publisher’s Editorial Process

Here’s what the editorial process of developing a book manuscript looks like at one publishing house. Dan Elliott is editorial director at Tyndale House Publishers, based in Chicagoland, USA. Watch the short video below for details.

1. Read the whole manuscript without editing. Pay attention: what is your experience as the reader?

2. Establish relationship with the author. Learn about the author as a whole person so you can develop a good partnership.

3. Create a written review of the manuscript containing three parts:
a) Identify its strengths
b) Identify how it can be improved
c) Make specific recommendations
This review is confidential, for discussion and sharing within the publishing house.

4. Adapt the above review to create a personal letter from the editor to the author:
a) Offer praise of manuscript strengths
b) Be specific on what the author can work on
c) Focus on the big picture and clarify a time frame for next steps

5. Get the author involved and coach him or her on next steps.

6. Look at the big picture issues of the manuscript. Work with the author.

7. Edit the details of the manuscript. Work with the author.

8. Get the author’s approval of the final manuscript.

This video was shot by Team David Films at MAI’s international publishing conference, LittWorld 2015, in Singapore.

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