Steps to your final manuscript


A book begins with an idea. Then what? You may want advice on where to go with your idea or how to organize the many facets of your idea into a good read. You may be well beyond the idea stage and have a first––or second––or third draft. There are many steps along the writer’s journey. Wherever you are on the path, Dorothy Read’s editing services can help you move forward to the final goal: a manuscript ready to become a book.




Dorothy Read can help you understand the path to publishing and where you stand on the path. She can explain editing services and what they can do for your manuscript. She can answer your questions about the process of writing a manuscript and help you choose the next step toward your writing goal.


A ghostwriter writes your manuscript for you. It involves communicating the story you want to tell or the information you want to share in a series of interviews, usually over a period of several months. You provide feedback, and your ghostwriter makes necessary revisions until the content is the way you want it. You are the author; your ghostwriter is the midwife that brings your story to life in print.

manuscript evaluation

The big question with many writers, both new and experienced: “Is this any good?” You may submit twenty-five pages of your manuscript for an evaluation of your writing style and voice.  For a more extensive evaluation that would include where your manuscript fits in the world of publishing, you may add a synopsis of your whole fictional story or an outline of your nonfiction work. Or you may submit your manuscript for a full evaluation that includes the type of editing that would be needed to make it publishable.

Evaluation is delivered as written comments, letting you know what is great about your work, how you can make it even greater, and where it might fit in the publishing world. It does not include any level of editing.


Different projects require different levels of editing. We collaborate with you to determine what your project needs.

  • Developmental (sometimes called structural) editing deals with the big picture: how the major elements are developed; how they fit and flow; what content is included; how it is presented. The editor may suggest a minor––or a major overhaul, new ideas, or a different approach. Or the editor may guide you as you develop your manuscript.
  • Substantive editing calls for rewriting (by the editor) and/or reorganizing or rethinking content.
  • Copyediting (sometimes called line editing) requires the scrutiny of every word and punctuation mark in a manuscript. It deals with the nuts and bolts of writing, such as grammar, usage, sentence structure, word crafting, word economy, clarity, consistency, style, and voice. Manuscripts that require minimal correction or revision are considered light copyediting. Heavy copyediting requires corrections and/or changes on just about every page. Most manuscripts require medium copyediting.


The type of editing most visible to the reader is proofreading. It is the last edit and is done when the manuscript is considered finished. It focuses on mechanical errors: spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and consistency in style and formatting. The proofreader’s job is to produce an error-free manuscript.

Your steps to your book


Self-publishing has become much easier and affordable over the last decade. However, finding the right book cover and interior designer can be a “hit and miss” process. Dorothy Read’s graphics team can work with you to create your book cover and interior page design for print and e-book.

Once the book pages and cover are complete, we work with each client to identify the printer/distributor that is best suited for the client’s needs. We will work with you to set up your account with the printer/distributor, format the book for print and ebook, and upload them for publication.


Readers may not notice a good book interior but they will definitely notice a bad one! A proper book layout is the result of careful planning and attention to detail, such as choosing the proper page size, font styles, line spacing, and margin settings.  Let us create a visually appealing book design for you.



"You can't judge a book by its cover."

Good advice––except when it is a real book! A good designer will create a “stands out in a crowd” book cover that considers the expectation of readers in that particular genre––the trim size, color scheme, fonts and overall “feel” of the book.

If the first impression is the front cover, then the second impression is the back cover. A designer understands that the back information can “seal the deal.” There are necessary common elements in a back cover, such as book description, author bio, testimonials, and barcode.  To understand the importance of the back cover, think of it as the author’s first marketing outreach to the reader.


Once the book and cover are designed, we can help you research and choose a company that provides print-on-demand services, one that fits best for you. Companies such as Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), IngramSpark, and Barnes & Noble Press provide printing and also book and e-book distribution. You keep control of the book rights, set your own list price, and receive royalties on books sold through the distributor.

setting up your account, formatting and uploading

This process seems to be the most overwhelming to those new to self-publishing. Fortunately, it isn't as confusing or time-consuming as it appears. Need help? Let us work with you through every step of the process:

  1. Setting up your author account with your POD publishing service;
  2. Acquiring an ISBN # for book and e-book distribution and sales;
  3. Acquiring Library of Congress and copyright submission;
  4. Setting up search-engine key words and key word strings (metadata);
  5. Submitting Book Industry Standards and Communications (BISAC) Subject Codes;
  6. Formatting and uploading book file and cover for print and e-book;
  7. Setting up an Author Page and Sales Page on Amazon.