Receiving a file from us
The Book Editor works primarily in Microsoft Word. We use the 'Track Changes' feature to record any and all changes to the text or formatting, as well as leaving comments in the file for you to read, reply to, and/or resolve.
Sometimes when we send these files back, the changes to the document (called 'markup') or the comments don't show automatically. If you have received a file from us and have not seen either comments or markup (usually red, purple or blue text or crossed-out words) or both, follow the instructions below.
Don't know what to do with the comments and markup? Click here.
To the see the comments and markup (if you’re using Microsoft Word):
To see the markup:
1) Go to the 'Review' tab up in the top bar. (See red box in image above)
2) To the right of the big 'Track Changes' button you’ll see a drop-down box that should say ‘No Markup’, ‘Simple Markup’ or ‘All Markup’ (see blue box above or image to the right). Click that and change to ‘All Markup’.
3) If you’re still not seeing anything, click ‘Show Markup’ below it (see green box above or the image below-right) and make sure ‘Insertions & Deletions’ is ticked.
To see the comments:
1) Still under the Review tab (see image above this section), simply click the 'Show Comments' button, as shown in the orange box above. Another option is to click the Comments box on the far right (shown in the purple box) to open a panel that shows all comments.
If you're using Pages (on Apple Mac), click here
What to do with the comments and changes
We like to think of our comments as an open dialogue between author and editor. While we try to offer professional, experience-based feedback and recommendations, we maintain that it is your book at the end of the day. Remember that it is our job to look for any sections or elements of the manuscript that have the potential to be optimised, so please don't take offence if it seems like we're being overly picky or critical. Our training and experience does not make us the ultimate authority on how something ought to be written, although we do give many of our recommendations based on documented writing theory, official style guides, and a wealth of experience in the industry. All our suggestions, questions and critique are designed to help you develop your book in a way that will make it better understood, more enjoyed by your target reader, and more saleable in its respective market.
You are not expected to agree with everything we say, and you are not obliged to accept or change something if you don't want to. However, it's likely we've made a comment or change for a reason, and we invite discussion wherever there is confusion or disagreement.
We invite you to reply to our comments, even if just to acknowledge them, or you can click 'resolve' if you feel you have fixed the issue. We recommend that you don't delete the comments after the first pass (different to 'resolving' them), as they can sometimes be helpful for reference later on.
If there is any confusion, please don't hesitate to email your editor or set up a call. Communication is the key!
Addressing our insertions, deletions, and changes:
With the markup visible on your file (the insertions and deletions), it can make for a messy page. Words crossed out, added, letters changed... Where to begin?
You can easily toggle the markup on and off, showing or hiding it, with the instructions here. You should, in theory, be able to accept all these changes on a basis of trust with your editor. However, the manner in which changes are made can differ from editor to editor, so it may pay to spend some time toggling the markup on and off to familiarise with the kinds of changes your editor is making. When it comes to matters of spelling or grammar, although no one can claim to have a perfect and complete understanding of the English language (not even editors!), we generally recommend trusting in our knowledge of style guides, spelling, and punctuation rules.
Tracking our changes is partly a formality, so that all our work is documented for reference if need be. However, it remains your prerogative as the author to accept or decline our changes as you please. Just remember: if you decline our typographical changes, we are not liable for errors in your manuscript, and changes we've made for good reason are likely to require time (and therefore money) to reinstate.
You can accept or reject each change under the Review tab. See the screenshot at the bottom of this page.
To the right of the 'Show Markup' drop-down boxes, you may see a button / drop-down that says 'Accept' (blue box below). If you click on the 'Accept' text or the little downward-facing arrow below (in the blue box), you will see a list of options that includes 'Accept All Changes', which will accept all of our insertions and deletions and wipe the file clean of markup.
You can accept changes individually by clicking the icon with the green tick on it (green box below). To reject/decline a single change, click the smaller button with the little red cross (purple box) or click the arrow next to it (orange box) for more options.
Caution: Make sure you have first clicked on the appropriate change/markup that you want to accept or reject before you click the appropriate button. If you make a mistake and accept or reject accidentally, simply 'undo' your previous action. To do this, hold the 'Ctrl' button on your keyboard while pressing 'Z' once. Or you can go to the 'Home' tab up the top, and you will see a little curling arrow (button) on the far left that does the same thing.