To publish a book, whether you do it yourself or through a traditional publisher, the first thing you should do is revise the manuscript you just wrote. The first draught of a novel is never made into a published book. Every best-seller has been reworked and rewritten countless times. A lot of effort has gone into creating the environment you’ve described. Your story must be fascinating and engaging, and it must not have any structural flaws that make it seem unreal. Every line in your work must be clear, concise, and essential; else, readers will give up on a book that is too laborious to finish. A decent book can be made much better by a well-edited manuscript, whether you do it yourself or hire book editing services.
How to Edit a Book in 3 Steps
A book can be edited in numerous ways. With a publishing company, they will use their in-house editorial staff. In the self-publishing world, you’ll be able to pick and select the editing approaches that best suit your needs because the editing process is more à la carte. Editing a book can be accomplished in three ways:
As a first-time author, self-editing improves your writing skills. You learn all about grammar and the best approach to tell a tale. When self-editing a manuscript, writers should go through their work at least twice to check for significant story aspects like plot structure and narrative arcs and again to catch minor errors like typos and grammar.
After consulting with beta readers: A beta reader is someone who volunteers to read and provide input on your manuscript. They can be a paid professional or a close friend or family member. Ideally, they’ll be able to point out any storyline or character development discrepancies, as well as how the book’s climax sequence unfolded.
Your book may require copy editing, developmental editing, or a combination of the two, depending on your needs. A copy editor is your friend in grammar, word choice, and sentence structure. A developmental editor examines the general storey structure and narrative arcs to create a unified narrative.
Using these 8 Steps, You Can Self-Edit Your Book!
It’s a good idea to edit your book even if you plan to pay a professional. Tips to remember when you’re editing:
Take a Break from Your Story
Stop writing for a few days before diving into the editing process. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King, states that he puts the first draught of a novel in a drawer for six weeks before editing it. It’s easier to come back to your tale with clearer vision and a more open mind when you’ve given yourself some breathing room.
Secondly, Recite your Storey Aloud
Listening to a narrative being read aloud might help writers spot errors in their work. To yourself or a buddy, retell your own storey. A recording of your voice is also an option. Keep a copy of your book open on your computer so that you may check for any grammatical errors or make plot modification notes to refer back to at a later time.
Make a Pass for the Big Picture
An initial editing pass should be a developmental edit. See whether there are any problems with the plot. As the storey progresses, there should be an orderly progression of events. Locate and repair any storey flaws. Check to see if your subplots flow nicely into the main plot. Your main character and supporting characters should have distinct personalities and practical reasons. When examining the characteristics of your feelings, check to see if your point of view remains constant throughout the novel.
Zoom In To Do Scene-By-Scene Edits
The objective of each scene should be to advance the plot, increase conflict, or help character development. Go over the conversation and remove any extraneous chit-chat as you break down the scenes. Please pay close attention to the climax and how the shot ends as you write.
Take Charge of Your Copyediting
Your copy’s structural integrity should be checked on the second go-round, as well. Correct the most basic errors, line by line. A spell check is a must. Punctuation and grammar mistakes should be corrected. Look and replace “crunch words” in your writing. Active voice should be used to rewrite any passive-voice lines you come across. Finally, make sure to double-check your sentence structure and word choice.
Verify for Accuracy
The accuracy of your information is critical, whether producing a piece of historical fiction or non-fiction. Every statistic, real anecdote, or fact you present in your book should be sourced from reliable sources.
You should make sure that your work is error-free; use a professional proofreader.
Hire a proofreader after you’ve finished editing. Double Checking your work for spelling and grammar errors can save time and money. A fresh set of eyes might be a good thing when it comes to finalising your story.
This is the final step in preparing your manuscript.
It’s always best to follow the industry-standard book formatting requirements when writing a manuscript. Word documents using 12-point Times New Roman font and double-spaced pages with no indents should be used for your book. Always double-check your formatting before sending your text to a literary agent.
Speaking of which, if you’re looking for the best literary agents – Book Writers is the platform for you!