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To Edit or not to Edit? Or Find More in 7 Successful Book Self-Editing Tips

You may have decided to edit your manuscript by yourself. While that can be a challenging task at times, it is not impossible. There are a number of rules of thumb you should consider as you go about doing this. These will help you do a better job of checking through your finish work.

Books Editing Requires Objectivity

  1. Step Away from the Book. You may have put your heart and soul into the book but now you have to look at it objectively.  You almost have to think of it as having been written by somebody else. Be willing to cut out sections if that is necessary.
  2. Simple Grammar Is the Best. Unless you have a very strong command of English grammar, you should use basic grammar throughout the manuscript. It lessens the chance of serious grammatical errors cropping up.
  3. Watch out for Tenses. Authors can make the mistake of switching back and forth between present and past tense. Make sure that the appropriate tense is used in the text you are editing.
  4. Be Careful About Formatting. This means that the fonts used for chapter headings should all be consistent. The same is true for any subtopics, and even the margins have to be properly set. Publishing companies may have formatting guidelines as part of their online sites. It is a good idea to take a look see some of these formatting criteria. It also is a decent idea to write down what your personal formatting guidelines are going to be when it comes to your book.

Self-Editing Tips Include Various Techniques

Editing is more than just looking at the pages. To do a thorough job you should take a look at some other editing ideas that can help create a better final product. They can definitely help:

  1. Try Reading Out Loud. What may appear sensible on paper may have entirely different meaning when spoken out loud. You may discover that what you may have thought made perfect sense, doesn’t seem to be plausible once it is spoken. That will allow you to make some changes as far as dialogue in particular is concerned.
  2. Have a Third Party Take a Look at Your Text. Even though you’ve decided to do a self-edit, there are points where a third pair of eyes is going to be important. If you find yourself in a point of confusion, or you don’t know what the right editing should be, have somebody else take a look at the work.

Never Take Editing As a Personal Affront

  1. Accept any Criticism Graciously. A third party make some comments about your text or the flow of words, take it in stride. This is not a critique of you as a writer but of the work itself. When you look at the biographies of many famous writers, they spend enormous amounts of time editing and reediting the work that they do. You are in very good company.

Something that is very important to keep in mind about your book is whether or not it will sell. It doesn’t do any good to spend all those hours writing to produce a financial flop. It is editing work that sees to it your efforts will be accepted by the reading public. That makes all the work worth the effort.