13 Book Editing Tips For Insiders Only
13 Book Editing Tips For Insiders Only
The first draft of your manuscript is finished so probably you’ll be in need of some book editing tips. You now need to focus on editing and wonder if the manuscript should be given to a professional editor?
Along the way you’ve tried to reduce the mistakes in your text but it has been a daunting experience. You’ve not realised that there are methods for editing your own work.
You could have done with some editing tips early in the piece.
Go through the process of self-editing before handing your book over to a professional editor. Get your manuscript to an advanced level and then you’ll be able to reduce your editing costs.
In addition the exercise of self-editing will make you more sensitive to editorial issues and this in turn will help you to improve your writing next time round.
Here are 13 tips for self-editing your manuscript.
Tip 1 – Print the manuscript
Once you have completed the first draft of your manuscript print it out. This way it looks more like a physical copy of your book.
Tip 2 – Take a rest from your manuscript
Put your manuscript away. Lock it in a drawer or filing cabinet and leave it there for a week or two. Do not look at it. Give yourself a rest from the project.
Tip 3 – Structure
After taking the break look at the manuscript with fresh eyes. First of all, examine its structure. Check the order of the chapters. Ensure there is a logical sequence.
Sections of text may need to be rewritten to make the writing more clear. The text must flow taking the reader logically from one place to the next so that they have a transformational experience.
Watch out for repetition. Keep sentences simple and straight forward. You want your message to be easily understood and precise.
Tip 4 – Check facts
Your facts might need to be substantiated by referring to the source of your information. Document your sources immediately and put these references into a section at the end of the chapter or at the end of the book.
It is important to document your sources as you write. Avoid neglecting this otherwise you could have insurmountable challenges later on like not being able to remember the source of the information.
Tip 5 – Editing grammar
Become acquainted with the most frequently used rules of grammar and writing style before you start writing. Minimise bad grammar and correct grammatical errors
Be on the look out for errors in syntax, punctuation, capitalisation, hyphenation and eliminate unnecessary adjectives and adverbs.
Tip 6 – Sentences
Rewrite sentences if they are long and ungainly. You want them to be short, straight forward, and to the point.
Tip 7 – Remove repetitive words
Writers tend to overuse certain words. Remove the ones that you overuse and consult Roget’s Thesaurus to help you to find fresh and alternative words.
Tip 8 – Hold reader attention
To hold the attention of the reader format your text to make it reader friendly. Use sub-headings to break up the chapters.
Tip 9 – Editing software
Run your manuscript through some editing software like Grammarly to identify passive voice, repetitive words, incorrect comma usage, typos, and bad sentence structure. There is even a plagiarism checker.
Tip 10 – Read book aloud
You will identify more errors by taking the time to read your book aloud.
Tip 11 – Rework manuscript
Once you’ve done a second draft give yourself another break from your manuscript. Put it away and come back to it sometime later. Then start reworking the third draft and fix all the errors.
Tip 12 – Beta readers
Give your manuscript to a few trusted beta readers. Get their feedback because they will enviably see mistakes that you have missed.
Tip 13 – Proofread
Once you have fixed more errors proofread your manuscript.
Learning how to self-edit your manuscript is not an easy task. However, it is worthwhile doing the hard yards even if it is laborious.
By going the extra mile working on your manuscript you will publish something for which you will be proud.
The final stage in editing is to give your manuscript to a professional editor who will fine tune it and make your manuscript the best it can be.
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