Two Indispensable Tools for Writers and Editors

As a writer, I know how hard it is to self-edit and proofread my own writing. It’s important to have my manuscript as close to perfect as I can make it before I send it to my editor. (Yes, writers who are also editors hire other editors to edit their work.)

As an editor, I know how easy it is to get caught up in a client’s narrative and miss both small and large problems that must be addressed. That’s one reason I always sub-contract proofreading to someone else. But I also make sure I’ve done my own due diligence before I pass a manuscript–mine or someone else’s–to a proofreader.

Continue reading “Two Indispensable Tools for Writers and Editors”

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More Self-Editing Tips: Part 2

The response to “Self-Editing Tips: Part 1″ was gratifying, bringing us to More Self-Editing Tips: Part 2. Most readers agreed that professional editing is a necessity for self-published writers, and I want to emphasize that these tips are in no way meant to relieve you of your responsibility to hire a professional editor if you want to publish a high-quality book. Several readers suggested the strategy of reading aloud, which I will cover in a little more detail in this post. Another reader suggested adding tools for determining the reading level of your manuscript, something I had not given much thought to, so I will be adding it here.

Self-editing common errors:

This list continues where I left off in the previous post. These self-editing tips relate to errors or problems you may not be aware of. Continue reading “More Self-Editing Tips: Part 2”

Self-Editing Tips: Part 1

Much has been said about the stigma of self-publishing, and probably the most oft-repeated criticism is that self-published books are frequently poorly edited or not edited at all. As an editor, I wouldn’t dream of publishing a book without hiring an outside editor to go through it with a fine-tooth comb. Of course,  good editors don’t come cheap, but it’s an expense that will pay off down the road when your published work is recognized for its high quality. It’s almost impossible for us to fully edit our own writing. We are too close to it; our eyes (and our brain) don’t always register errors–we unconsciously supply what we meant to write. That makes self-editing quite a challenge. Continue reading “Self-Editing Tips: Part 1”