Here at Castle Editorial, we have the answer. In 2012, while working together at a publishing company, we editors of Castle Editorial coined the term polishing. Polishing is the step in publishing that comes after the manuscript is completed and ready for submission and before the publisher accepts the manuscript for publication (or before the agent accepts you as a client). This is the step when professional editors unaffiliated with the publisher or agent take your manuscript and shine it up.
When you put a manuscript through ten drafts, it is easy to miss the details. During polishing, brand-new eyes will read, critique, and edit the manuscript. At Castle Editorial, fresh eyes will ensure that no comma is splicing, no modifier is hanging out to dry, and no hyphen is masquerading as an em dash. The point of polishing is to make your submission stand out by ridding the manuscript of errors and other problems.
The polishing process provides authors with quality feedback, copy and substantive edits, and coaching. We can help identify plot holes, smooth out rough patches of text, and increase or decrease word count. But we won't stop there! You can also send us your query letter, and we will help you craft your words in just the right way. All editors at Castle Editorial have been trained in acquisitions. Together, we have studied query letters sent in by authors whose manuscripts were, ultimately, rejected. Because of that experience, we also know what not to include in a query. Writing is not the only craft that authors need to master in order to be published. Preparing a phenomenal submission and query letter is also vital.
In the long run, we want to help you fulfill your dream of being published. The more polished your manuscript and the more professional your submission, the higher chance you have of catching the eye of that acquisitions editor. Remember, the step before being published is getting polished, and Castle Editorial will give your manuscript the extra shine it needs.