Before Printing, Editing: Choose How to Edit Your Work

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In this day and age of mobile use, are people still reading books? The answer is yes!

According to Statista, Americans bought more than 650 million books in 2019. E-book revenue, meanwhile, reached $12.32 billion. Audiobooks fared well, too, by earning $940 million. Even better, you can now explore self-publishing book printing.  This method allows you more control over the design, voice, and marketing of their manuscript.

When it comes to editing the pages, you have two options:

  • Choose DIY.
  • Hire a professional editor.

Kinds of Editors

First, you have freelance and an in-house editor. Each has its pros and cons:

  • You have many choices for freelancers. The United States has more than 56 million of them, some of whom specialize in editing a manuscript.
  • You can choose a freelancer carefully.
  • Freelancers may be more affordable than an in-house editor.
  • In-house editors may be more experienced than freelancers.
  • The risks of an editor disappearing without notice are small when you work with an in-house agency.
  • An in-house editing team usually invests in training and tools.

Editors themselves vary:

1. Proofreaders

Proofreading is surface editing. A proofreader corrects only minor errors in the manuscript, including:

  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Capitalization
  • Grammar
  • Formatting
  • Consistency of style (e.g., whether to spell out numbers below 10)

A proofreader doesn’t touch on your manuscript style (e.g., first-person or third-person narrative) or changes the flow of the story.

2. Copy Editors

A copyeditor performs much of the job of a proofreader and then some:

  • Fact-check your claims
  • Spot inconsistencies in the storyline (e.g., names of characters, descriptions, and timelines)
  • Corrects the uses of jargons
  • Ensure the tone of the manuscript matches the culture of the characters and even the potential readers

3. Developmental Editor

Another term for a developmental editor is a substantive editor. This person performs all the work of a proofreader and a copy editor.

Then, they delve deeper into the manuscript. They focus on the following:

  • The cohesion of the story
  • The flow of the sentences and paragraphs

They may add or remove blocks of texts. They may also rearrange the sections. It’s not unusual to find significant differences between your draft and the final output.

How About Editing Your Work by Yourself?

woman writing

Hiring an editor can cost you around $50 to $80 per hour, depending on the kind of editing. Some may charge per Word. Usually, editors can work on a few pages per hour.

If you think you don’t have the budget, you can edit the manuscript yourself. You can use many tools to help you out:

  • PerfectIt is a program you can install in Word. It does an excellent job of spotting inconsistencies.
  • Hemingway is a free website that helps you to modify your work, so it’s easier to read and understand.
  • ProWriting Aid and Grammarly can spot errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It can also assess the tone of your manuscript. Between the two, though, the first one is more comprehensive.
  • WorRake streamlines your work, so the sentences are more cohesive and tighter.

Another alternative is to edit your work first and then let a proofreader or copy editor double-check what you did. You still pay by the hour, but it may not take them a long time to complete the job.

In the end, your choice should focus on quality. Shoddy editing often leads to poor storytelling and reputation.

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