Having an amazing story in your mind for several years and getting a chance to pen it down is a great achievement. But, when you are writing your book, you unintentionally overlook its errors. This is why you must edit it before giving it to the readers. Editing a book is time-consuming and daunting because finding out the mistakes in the manuscript and correcting them takes a lot of patience and effort. Your effort and patience are worth it if you edit your book and make it error-free and perfect.
You can use a proper editing process to make your book look flawless. The editing process involves the entire book reading, checking for errors, getting it proofread, and formatting. So, whether you are self-publishing a book or hiring a traditional publishing company, you must ensure to go through this editing process.
The editing process will contain numerous revisions to improve its quality. You can create a great book to hook the readers with clear, concise, and effortless content. You must identify and fix the mistakes by taking the right measures.
So, if you want to learn about the self-editing process to make your book faultless, we are here to help you out.
How Can You Self-Edit Your Book?
There is an entire book editing process that you can perform to self-edit your book. Here are some steps below.
Take A Break After Writing Your Story
When you are done writing your manuscript, you should take a break from it before you start editing. This strategy will help you forget everything you have written; when you open it after some time, it will seem like someone else wrote it.
Taking some distance from your manuscript will allow you to return with a fresh perspective and clear mind. Then you can see your mistakes and the changes you want to make in your manuscript.
Read Your Story Out Loud
Reading your story to yourself can bring up mistakes such as sentence structure, grammatical, punctuation, etc. Additionally, reading your manuscript can help clean up your prose so you communicate the book’s message more effectively.
This step can be challenging because reading a book takes much energy and time. But, you can make it easy for yourself by completing the task in several days, taking frequent breaks, or you will get tired and also overlook the mistakes, and making notes or marking errors that need to be catered in the end.
Do A Developmental Edit
Your manuscript must go through a developmental edit. It will help you look at the issues in your story. The story should have a proper flow with enhanced plot points from the beginning. You also need to ensure that the story’s plot must be fixed and integrated with the storyline.
With the help of this editing step, make sure that characters have believable characteristics and clear vision. You will also have to check that the vision of those characters remains the same throughout the story. Moreover, after checking the characters’ development and vision, review the dialogues and cut unnecessary parts.
You must be a copy editor to provide structural integrity in the developmental edit. You will have to fix the basic mistakes from every line. Check the punctuation errors, crutch words, sentence structure, and the spaces between sentences.
Check The Work Accuracy
You can earn credibility in the eyes of the reader if you make your book accurate. In other words, you can say that accuracy is the key to perfect editing. While editing your manuscript, you must pay attention to every little detail. This detail checking will help you provide accuracy and precision in your work.
You can do editing precision by right word selection, avoiding redundancy, understanding the queries, etc. Selecting the right words demonstrates the author’s message. You can make your book accurate, precise, and clear by ensuring it has the right facts, information, and story.
Proofread It Well
We all know that the main purpose of proofreading is to improve the work quality. The proofreading steps check that your manuscript does not have any linguistic, structural, or grammatical errors left. This will also help you to be a better writer.
The proofreading step will provide effectiveness in your writing style and clarify the message you are portraying. You can check for errors with a more focused eye and do revisions to improve your manuscript. You can also divide your manuscript into sections to look at it more precisely.
Format Your Manuscript
You can be recognized as a well-known, professional, and consistent author if you format your book perfectly. This step will also help the readers clarify the book information by breaking and labeling the sections and highlighting keywords or important plots while creating a good impression of yours.
Before you complete the editing process and move forward to the next step of publishing, you need to format your manuscript properly. To do that, you can use the book formatting guidelines that are the same for every book. You can also use Microsoft Word’s help to insert 12pt font, no indent on new paragraphs, page breaks between chapters, and white spaces.
Other Means Of Book Editing
As you have seen above, the ways to self-edit your manuscript. Here are some other ways that you can choose to make your book free of errors.
A Beta Reader: A beta reader is actually a professional or a random person from family or friends who can help read your manuscript and give you feedback. They tell you the errors in your manuscript and how you can change them.
A Professional Editor: You can hire a professional editor to help make your book a masterpiece. These editors will provide you with services such as developmental editing, copy editing, proofreading, etc. They will fix the book errors in an excellent manner and give your book a fresh look.
Editing your book can be challenging, but following proper guidelines can make it easy. If you are self-publishing a book and want to make it impeccable, you can take a break after writing your manuscript. This will help in giving you a fresh perspective.
Furthermore, you can read the story out loud, check the accuracy, proofread, and format it to make it completely free of errors. But, if you are still finding it difficult to edit your book, you can choose a beta reader or hire a professional editor to do it for you.