Your Self-Publishing Questions Answered (#23-24)

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1106 Design

June 17, 2013

Today’s questions: book editing levels and retail price vs. wholesale book pricing and discounts.

Self-Publishing Question #23 of 52: What’s the difference between substantive editing, copyediting, and proofreading?

There are three types of editing: copyediting, substantive editing and proofreading. Copyediting entails a comprehensive edit of your book. The editor will look at spelling, grammar, punctuation, word choice, paragraph structure, flow and style consistency, and will quite often catch outright errors in your manuscript.

A substantive edit entails a copyedit, plus a review of the structure of your book, the logical flow, redundancies and your writing style, and the editor will quite often move whole chunks of your book around, suggest parts be deleted and even rewrite portions of your text. Substantive edits are excellent for authors who are unsure of their writing skills or who sense a problem with their manuscript that they just can’t put their finger on.

We have included proofreading as an editing function here so that we can emphasize the fact that authors should not think that a simple proofreading (which costs less than copyediting because it does not require as much time or effort on the part of the proofreader) is a replacement for a good copyedit.

A proofreader will check for typos and punctuation but will not agonize over your choice of words or sentence structure, or figure out the problem with your manuscript, fix it and piece the book back together again. A copyedit or substantive edit goes well beyond catching typos, adding that extra level of professionalism and readability that make your book stand out from the others.

 

Self-Publishing Question #24 of 52: What’s the difference between the “retail price” and “wholesale price” price of my book?

The retail price is what retail outlets such as bookstores and Amazon will use when selling your book to customers. This price is printed on your book cover and encoded in the bar code. Retailers pay the wholesale price for your book, and the difference between what they pay for your book and what they sell is their margin; if they decide to reduce the retail price of your book, the difference comes out of their margin. The wholesale price is typically 45-50% of your retail price. For example, if the retail price for your book is $10.00, the wholesale price may be $4.50. This is what you get paid. You will frequently see the term “wholesale discount.” While your book might be priced at $10.00, the wholesalers are being given a 55% discount by being able to purchase your book at $4.50 [$10 X (1-wholesaler discount of 55%) = $4.50].

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