What is Publishing in Context?

Martin Wilcox
Melanie Arrowood Wilcox

Publishing Consultants


Publishing in Context, a publishing consultancy run by Martin and Melanie Arrowood Wilcox, helps experts share their knowledge with people who may find it beneficial through publication.

Our approach is collaborative. We help our clients pinpoint their audience, the purpose of their publication, and their authority. This helps us to identify possible publishers or, perhaps, to consider self-publication.

We assist you in the evolution of your ideas into an expert framework, taking the knowledge you have accumulated and developed through research, study, and experience. Using this framework, we then work together on content development through a process we’ve created that transforms your knowledge for use by defined audiences. We often do this by creating content for your existing or new website.

Because creating a first draft is often the most difficult stage, we developed techniques that facilitate conversation between our clients—as the experts—and us—as the publishing consultants.

If you haven’t had time to get all your ideas written down and aren’t likely to have the time in the future, or if you find this task to be particularly difficult, we can facilitate the first-draft process by interviewing you and writing what we call a correctable text. This is text you will react to—correcting, augmenting, and eventually taking on as your own. All of the activity related to the first draft is developmental editing, which is the editorial assistance provided to an author before there is a manuscript.

This is an effective beginning to the traditional editorial process, which we believe has six interrelated but distinct stages:

  • knowledge verification,
  • content development,
  • publication development,
  • production,
  • marketing and promotion, and
  • sales and distribution.

The first three have been relatively neglected in recent years, and those are the stages that receive our focus.

Once there is a complete first draft, we can help you by doing substantive editing on the text. Substantive editing involves creating a second draft by putting the manuscript into essential shape—focusing it, harmonizing the material, making sure the terminology is consistent, often moving things around, and making sure it all works. The manuscript will usually pass back and forth at this stage, giving you more opportunities to correct, augment, and make decisions.

When you are satisfied with the second draft, we move on to producing the third and final draft. At this point, we line edit, which involves checking the manuscript for readability and for details of format, accuracy, and completeness. Then you’re ready to go ahead with publication—either by submitting your work to a publisher or by self-publishing.


At Publishing in Context we help experts think through
what they know, and we assist them in sharing their
thinking with people who can benefit from their knowledge.

For more information on our services, contact: