Monday, December 31, 2018

What You Need to Know About Editing a Book

Why Your Book Needs to Be Edited

The reader's experience depends on how well your book has been edited, and this also plays a part in your success as an author.  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 editing 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

Check your spelling through your computer, on your first edit, or use editing software, if you're using a separate program. 

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:

Response time

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.

Grammar Mistakes

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 simply send the editor a sample of your work (two or three pages), then get them to edit it for free.  This is a must, you can see if they will work well with you.

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.