My name is Richard Wynne. Since 2009 I have been producing and publishing books; they happen to be nautical books, but for our purposes they could have been on any subject. Some of them have been straightforward pieces of continuous text, some a mix of text and fairly uniform graphics, and some quite a challenge to produce due the great disparity of their raw material. They have been well reviewed in influential quarters, and well received by their readers, for the quality of their content, typography and layout, and physical production.
I am increasingly being asked to assist others with book production, and have seen a number of external projects into print. The care and thought which have gone into my own books are available to yours, whether you are a commercial publisher, a self-publisher, or perhaps a club or society. The various ways I can help you are described below, and you can reach me via the Contact page.
Many people would be surprised to learn to what extent the books they read, whether fiction or non-fiction, have been edited; but were this not the case they would soon notice. Copy-editing is the process of closely reading a text (the ‘copy’) and eliminating infelicities such as incorrect grammar or punctuation, wrong or inconsistent spelling, confusing sentence structure, unnecessary repetition, and so on. But it may even involve structural changes which better serve the author’s intentions than the manuscript they delivered. This process takes place on the manuscript before it is typeset.
I am ‘of a certain age’ and quite well-informed across a wide range of interests—all of which can be useful in an editor—and am regarded as a good author and critic of factual writing. I’m a voracious, eclectic and discerning reader, primarily of non-fiction in the fields of sailing, science, travel, nature, history and current affairs, also typography and book design. I would not presume to advise on the structure of literary fiction, nor to tackle highly technical or academic material involving complex formulae and references; these aside, I look forward to helping you.
On a technical note, I edit on-screen only, using tracked changes in Microsoft Word.
Typesetting & Layout
Words worth reading are worth the little trouble it takes to set them appropriately in type, and so pay some respect to both writer and reader. The practice of good typography has evolved over centuries and it makes a real difference to the experience of reading a book, drawing attention to the author’s message and not to itself—the paradox of the typographer’s calling. I am speaking not only of appropriate typeface, page design, and so on—matters of taste as well as utility—but also some very real functional issues: there are visually distracting bugbears in typesetting—with arcane names like widow, orphan, runt and river—whose elimination, to the extent possible, on each page improves a book’s appearance and so smoothes the passage of the author’s ideas to the reader’s mind. This attention to detail requires human skill and judgement and has never been successfully automated.
The graphics in a book may present a challenge, and their treatment may make or break it. Or they may be a little humdrum in nature and require some imagination to make the book stand out from the crowd. I have grappled with a wide variety of original material in producing my own books, and believe I have arrived at a coherent result in each case.
Examples of my own publications may be viewed and downloaded elsewhere on this website.
I use Adobe InDesign software and deliver output as print-ready PDF.
Particularly if you are a self-publisher and printing in quantity rather than ‘on demand,’ you may appreciate help in identifying and dealing with a suitable printer. Knowing the right questions to ask them and establishing all of your production, and therefore cost, options is vital to this process. I am happy to undertake this task in a transparent manner whereby you contract directly with the selected printer.
Where possible I will quote a fixed price for the work based on a representative sample of the material to be worked on.