Monique Happy Editorial offers a wide range of services (and some we haven’t even listed here). But here are some quick explanations about the services we offer, and how they may work for you.
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Copy Editing and Manuscript Preparation
Once you’ve finished your story and you’re ready for that final “polish,” it’s time to bring in a trained and experienced copyeditor to help out
A copy editor won’t rewrite your work, and usually won’t even offer broad suggestions for improving the story or changing your vision. They’re looking to polish it: make sure the grammar and sentence structure works; make sure that character and place names remain consistent throughout; looking for logical lapses (wasn’t it afternoon an hour ago? And now it’s midnight?) and missing pieces (“I saw this guy get shot in the bedroom; did no one hear the shot? You might want to mention that.”) Good copy editors are worth their weight in gold when it comes to providing a fresh set of eyes. They have only one goal: to make your story look and sound as complete and professional as possible. And you always have the option of accepting or rejecting every change or suggestion they make. After all, it’s your manuscript. They’re just here to help.
There is also a step called “proofreading,” which is taking the completed, approved manuscript and putting it past yet another set of fresh eyes to look for any little mistakes that might have slipped through, primarily spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. It’s amazing — no matter how many people have looked at your piece how many times, it’s always good to have one last look by a trained professional. That step is included in our copy editing process at no additional charge.
And “manuscript preparation” is simply making sure the final manuscirpt is set up in a way that an editor or agent — if that’s your target — will expect to see, in a format that works for them.
Developmental editing is the deep dive that sometimes takes place before copy editing. Let’s say you feel as if your story isn’t quite ‘there’ yet. There’s something about the plot you’ve come up with, or the characters, or maybe just the way you’re telling the story that isn’t … ready yet.
Monique Happy Editorial can match you up with a developmental editor with experience in your genre — an experienced writer and editor who knows what works, and who understands the mechanics of structure, style, and storytelling and who can help you plan, build, and rewrite your work until you’re happy with what you’re seeing. Then, and only then, does it move on to copy editing (see above).
E-book and Print-On-Demand Formatting
Once your manuscript is fully copy-edited and proofread … what do you plan to do? If you’ve chosen self-publishing as your route, we have the ability to help you turn that manuscript into a professional-looking ebook for Amazon and other platforms, and to prepare it for “print on demand” services like CreateSpace (now Kindle Direct Publishing) and Lulu. It doesn’t need to be a terribly complicated, time-consuming, or expensive process … but it’s well worth the investment to have a final product, cover to cover, that looks great and is effortless to read — basically indistinguishable from a book published by the “Big Five.” Something you can be proud of.
Book Cover Design
if you’re chosen self-publishing, you’ll want a cover design that you can be proud of — something that shows off your story at its very best, and can help sell it as well. We work with a number of highly experienced and talented cover designers who know what works in design and what sells in the genre. You’ll have your pick — and you’ll work with and pay them directly, while MHES coordinates the project. (You can see some of the work of two of our best designers, Christian Bentulan and Kelly Martin, here, on our Team page.
If you decide to produce an e-book only, you’ll only work on (and pay for) a single 6″x9″ full-color cover. If you opt for Print on Demand as well, you’ll need a full “wrap around” cover, possibly with marketing copy on the back and a specially designed “spine” that’s based on the page-count of your final product. Our designers, with our help, will be able to produce both front-cover-only and wraparound covers, depending on the project.
Blurb and Marketing Consultation
Monique Happy Editorial isn’t a marketing company — no way! — but often new or independent authors can’t afford the cost of a full-on marketing firm. Still, storytellers like you deserve some attention … and we’re happy to offer low-cost alternatives, including professional written “blurb” copy that can go on the back of your Print on Demand book, and in your listing on Amazon and elsewhere — content that will describe your books in surprising and effective ways — copy that can sell you copies. We can write press releases or create ads for you as well … but most important, we’ll sit down and talk with you about your goals and your budgets, and deliver a marketing plan to you that you can live with, afford, and execute yourself or with your own team. We’re always here to help and offer advice. After all, if you succeed, everybody wins.
Our Newest Service! More and more, we’re finding that our colleagues and customers would love to have promotional items — even just a few! — to attract attention, use in contests, or just offer for sale (or giveaways) to fans. So we’ve built a whole separate venture — Happy Shirts Shop — that can produce an awesome array of custom-made products, in almost any quantity. We’re talking t-shirts and hoodies, of course, but also everything from water bottles and shower curtains to pillows and posters to keychains and coasters to stickers and lawn signs (yes, lawn signs). All often at no up-front cost to you, delivered directly to you. And of course, design services, by people who’ve been designing logos and promotional items for years, are available as well, all at surprisingly reasonable rates.
Every project is different, but every idea is valid … and just assume that almost anything is possible. Let’s talk about it and see what we can come up with! It all starts with that first email or phone call — and that’s jsut a click away, here.