Guest Post: Pro Tips for Editing Your Book Efficiently and Effectively

By Mariah

You’ve finally written that book, and you are so proud of your efforts. It may have been very long in the making, and you are ecstatic to be so close to the finish line. There is still some work that needs to be done on it; it needs to be checked for grammatical errors and may need to be refined a bit. There are steps you can take to help you do just that, and they include the following:

Refer to a Qualified Friend

If you have a friend who may also be a writer, publisher, or possibly an English teacher, ask them to review your book. Often it is best for an author to take a step back from their work and allows another educated person to review it. This person will see mistakes and gaps that the original writer failed to notice.

Read It Aloud

Your book may be very long, and reading it all out loud may sound very tedious and time-consuming, but it really works. Pace yourself and just read a chapter or two a day until you have completed the entire work. When you read your book aloud, all of the small inconsistencies and mistakes come to light. You can also test the flow and transitions of your writing in this manner. As a result of this step, your writing should be clearer, smoother, and much more descriptive. Hearing it read aloud can be very useful. If you don’t have a friend willing to do it for you, try a text to speech reader like TTSReader.com.

Print it Out

Many writers review and edit their manuscripts right on their laptop and computer screens. However, printing it out seems to give your work a different perspective, and you can look at the content from a different angle — a reader’s angle. You will be able to focus on the work and find mistakes and spacing errors that were not clear to you before. You will also be able to make notes in the margins, so you can go back to your computer and laptop and quickly and effectively make the necessary changes. If you still balk at this idea because printer ink is expensive, you can go to sites like NeedInk.com for a discount.

Hire a Professional

You may think you can edit your own work but sometimes your judgment and objectivity may be clouded. It may be better if you hired someone to take a serious look at your semi-finished product. Shop around on freelance sites like Upwork, Reedsy, NY Book Editors, and the Editorial Freelancers Association for reasonable pricing, but realize that the skill level of the professional is also extremely important. Some tips for success:

  • Interview them on the phone.
  • Ask about their availability.
  • Ask for a sample edit.
  • Request a sample of previous work.
  • Ask for references.
  • Frankly discuss rates and payment expectations.
  • Don’t settle on the first one who seems good — you want to feel like they’re your soulmate!

As you likely already know, writing and then editing a book can be a challenging task (to say the least). It requires attention to detail and objectivity that you are trying to develop as an author. Relying on these unique tips and on other individuals may just help you get to where you want to be.

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