Even if you can't afford to hire an editor, you need to know the basics to editing your own books. In the long-run self-editing your own work will make you a better writer. If you can master grammar and punctuation, editing your book won't be as hard as you think.
So How Do You Edit Your Book Proficiently?
Here are 5 tips to edit your book like a professional:
1. Step Back
Take a little time away from your work, may be a day or two, then go back to it with fresh eyes. You'll find more mistakes this way.
2. Use the Spellchecker on Your PC
On you first edit check your spelling using your online spellchecker, or through your editing software.
3. Read from the End to the Beginning
Sounds crazy, but this will help you look at the overall structure of your book, and the message you're trying to put across.
4. Read Your Manuscript Out Loud
You can hear how well your writing flows when you read out loud to yourself, catching lots of mistakes along the way.
5. Print it Out
Printing is optional, you can see your mistakes on paper. It's a good idea to repeat the first four steps again, this way you won't miss anything.
6. Paying for an Editor
What to Look for in a Professional Editor
If you have the means to pay for a professional editor, here are some things you want to know before you agree to work with them.
Look Into Their History
Ask them about the books they've edited. Is it the same kind of genre you're writing? Not every editor is versatile. How experienced are they? Most authors prefer hiring a well seasoned editor, newbie editors may not have the kind of experience needed for your book.
How Much Do They Charge?
A number of factors are taken into consideration when it comes to the cost of hiring an editor, things such as, workload and experience are pretty high on the list. Go with someone within your price range.
How to Contact an Editor
Once you've chosen your editor you need to look out for:
How long does it take them to contact you? If they're really bogged down with work, chances are they won't be able to fit you into their schedule.
If you discover the editor you've chosen, hasn't sent you an email full of typos, that's a pretty good sign that they're not going to be the right fit.
Do They Have Good References?
Can they give references of other people they've worked with? You can workout if the authors were pleased with their work.
Get a Sample Edit
You can do this by simply sending the editor a sample of your work (two or three pages), then get them to edit a chapter for free. you'll be able to judge if they're suitable enough to work alongside you on your manuscript.
Tell Them About Your Personal Preferences
If you have a particular writing style, let them know ahead of time.
Find Out The Best Way to Communicate
If you prefer to talk over the phone, and they prefer email, this will make things more complicated. Make sure you know how often they're going to check-in with you.
How Long Will it Take to Edit Your Book?
A really important question, if you want your book published by a certain date, and they go over time, you lose your launch date. Always allow extra time to check through the work that they've done, make sure it's what you wanted, and that you're happy with the result.
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