Book Editing Basics: 10 Simple Ways to Edit Your Own Book
Before sending your manuscript off to be edited by someone else, learn how to self-edit. Your first line of literary defense shouldn’t be a professional editor; you need to learn how to edit.
Book editing at its best
If you’re ready to self-edit your book, consider these 10 book editing tips. Beta readers and early reviewers will appreciate the creation of a readable early draft.
1. Rest your manuscript
Set your masterpiece aside for a few days after you’ve finished typing the last word; Stephen King says in On Writing that he keeps his finished drafts in a drawer for at least six weeks before looking at them again, and the best way to do that is to clear your mind of what’s been filling it for so long.
2. Listen to your manuscript
You can have a (patient) friend read it to you, or use your computer’s built-in speech synthesis function; for PC users, use Narrator, which is part of the system’s Ease of Access Center.
3. Search for troubling words
Consider your “troubling words,” and if you’re not sure how to use them, look them up on Grammar Girl.
4. Remove or replace your crutch words
Scrivener, which is available for Mac, iOS, and Windows, makes it simple to find your crutch words. One of my clients used “suddenly” far too often, making every action seem unnecessarily rushed. Go back through your manuscript and see where you can remove or replace them.
5. Remove all double spaces at the end of sentences
If you use two spaces after a period, you’re probably overusing them. After you’ve finished writing, do a find-and-replace search. Type two spaces in “find” and one space in “replace” and hit enter. Your manuscript has now been time-traveled into the twenty-first century.
6. Search for problematic punctuation
Are you a comma chameleon? Does your manuscript require a semicolonoscopy? Look up that mark and see if you’re using it correctly. If you’re still not sure, have your editor fix it, but make a note to ask him why.
7. Run spell check or use an automated editing program
You could also use automated editing programs like Grammarly or The Write Life, or at the very least, run spell check before sending your manuscript to an editor or beta reader; it’s a built-in editor that not everyone takes advantage of.
8. Subscribe to The Chicago Manual of Style
The Chicago Manual of Style is the bible of the publishing industry, and by subscribing to it, you’ll be able to look up issues before sending your manuscript to an editor. The online version of the manual is simple to use and will help you improve your writing skills.
9. Format accordingly
Use double-spaced line spacing, single spaces after periods, and a black, 12-point Times New Roman font. Instead of hitting tab to indent paragraphs, use Format > paragraph. Use page breaks between chapters; choose “Break” and “First line” from Word’s menu.
10. Don’t over-edit
Even if you self-edit, you’ll still need an editor to ensure that your manuscript is as polished as possible, and going through the editing process with a professional editor will help you become a better self-editor.
What is involved in editing a book?
Beta readers, self-editing, story editing (also known as developmental or content editing), copy editing, and proofing are the five main stages of editing. It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to editing; you’ll have to figure out what works best for you.
What software is used to edit books?
Scrivener and Google Docs are both useful for book editing; Scrivener allows you to track the status of individual chapters, while Google Docs is designed for collaboration with an editor and other writers.
What kind of editor do I need for my book?
We’ll go over proofreading, copy editing, line editing, and developmental editing, which are the four main types of book editing.
- Proofreading is named after the “proofs” that typesetters create before the final print run.
- Copy Editing.
- Line Editing.
- Developmental Editing.
Can someone edit my book for free?
Although there aren’t many organizations like Tethered by Letters that offer 100% free book edits, all professional editors will offer authors a free sample edit, which is an industry standard service offered by almost every professional editor out there.
Can I edit my own book?
Yes, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no, and no,
What are the five steps of editing?
The Five Stages of Book Editing
- Step 1: Draft 1 to Draft u201cI lost count,u201d then Edit Version 1 to infinity…and you’ve written the ending!
- Step 2: Alpha read.
- Step 3: Beta read.
- Step 4: Copy-edit and proofread.
How do you edit a book quickly?
8 Steps to Self-Editing Your Book
- Read Your Story Out Loud.
- Do a Big-Picture Pass.
- Zoom in to Edit Scene by Scene.
- Be Your Own Copy Editor.
- Check for Accuracy.
- Get a Proofreader.
- Format Your Manuscript.
What software does Stephen King use?
Q #2) What writing software does Stephen King use? Answer: He uses MS Word for books and the final draft for screenplays, as stated on his website.
What is the best video editing app for PC?
In-depth review of the best video editing software
- CyberLink PowerDirector 365.
- Adobe Premiere Elements.
- Pinnacle Studio.
- Final Cut Pro X.
- Adobe Premiere Rush.
- Corel VideoStudio Ultimate.
- Filmora. Low-cost video editing software for enthusiasts.
What are the 4 types of editing?
Different methods of editing a written document include copy editing, line editing, substantive editing, mechanical editing, and developmental editing.
Do writers edit their work?
It’s not your job to edit your work as you go u2014 that kills the creative process, and it’ll get you stuck at word #2 of a 40,000-word manuscript. You just need to build it, and then get out of the way.
What is the best editing app?
The Best Free iPhone and Android Photo Editing Apps
- Snapseed. Available on iOS and Android | Free.
- VSCO. Available on iOS and Android | Free.
- Prisma Photo Editor. Available on iOS and Android | Free.
- Adobe Photoshop Express.
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC.
- Adobe Photoshop Fix.
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
What is the difference between a proofreader and a copy editor?
Copy editing is the process of ensuring that a text is clear, readable, and error-free, while proofreading is the process of correcting errors in a typeset text’s “proof” version before it is printed and published.
Which is the best free editing software?
The best free desktop video editing software
- HitFilm Express.
- DaVinci Resolve.
- VSDC Free Video Editor.
What is higher than editor in chief?
The highest-ranking editor of a publication may also be referred to as an editor, managing editor, or executive editor, but when these titles are held by someone other than the editor-in-chief, the editor-in-chief takes precedence over the others.