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Seven Editing Tips for Authors

Often, inexperienced authors believe a project they are working on is finished when they type the last word. They mail the letter, dispatch the news release, or post the article only to discover glaring errors.

As a matter of fact, even when exercising a lot of caution, a manuscript will never be perfect. You can manage to make a short document error free, but there is no way hundreds of pages of writing will lack errors. It’s incredibly difficult to edit as you write—that’s why there are professional editors. 

However, you can make your work as error free as possible. Here are a few important tips to help you.

Write, then edit later

You should know that you will never complete the task when you are writing and editing at the same time. Book editors recommend coming up with a draft and do the editing as you progress. You don’t have to edit. Rewrite, revise. It will be better if you get your thoughts on paper before you start searching for errors.

Take a break

After working with a document for hours, it is likely that you will lose perspective. You will be thinking you are editing the work, yet you are just reading what you wrote on paper. After taking a short break, you will come in with fresh eyes that will discover the existence of errors in the document.

Edit the document in stages

Professional book editors recommend breaking the book into stages. There are a number of factors that will determine how many stages you will have and among them include the complexity of the document, the length, and the importance. You may have to add or delete sections depending on your findings.

Read it aloud

When you think your work is correct, try reading it aloud. There are sentences that may look okay in print, but do not read well when someone reads them aloud.

Ask a friend

When writing a book or manuscript, it is imperative you let someone review the document. Book editors are the best expert you can hire. But, if you can’t afford an editor or just want another person’s opinion, ask a friend.