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  • Writer's pictureGerald C. Anderson, Sr.

The Importance of Editing

One of the biggest mistakes an author can make is to publish a book they’ve edited themselves. Sounds harsh, but it’s true. It’s essential to hire an editor for your book so that you get the results that you want.

Your Reputation Is at Stake

If there are spelling, grammar, and formatting mistakes in your book you can bet that at least a dozen people will call you out. They’ll talk about it in your book reviews. They’ll reach out to you and tell you about the mistakes.

Those aren’t the people that you want to worry about. What may concern you most are the people that say nothing. The people that would have appreciated your information will doubt you.

While the simple spelling and grammar errors may not seem like much, they do impact your credibility. If you’re selling books, you want your readers to trust the information that you’re sharing. You want them to turn to you for more information and resources.

You’ll Lose Sales

Another thing that can happen when your readers find errors is that they’ll return the book. Buyers of digital, audio, and print books can return them, and they do. And digital book readers are finicky. They expect digital books to be top quality.

If You Can’t Edit It Yourself, How Do You Edit It?

You might wonder why you can’t edit it yourself - why your eyes aren’t good enough to find the mistakes. You know your material so well that you will miss even the simplest of mistakes. A reader that is a professional editor and knows what to look for and how to make it better, is the best approach.

You can find several professional readers available online. However, don’t just take their word for it that they’re a brilliant editor. Check references, ask for recommendations, and check into their experience. You don’t want to hire an editor, trust in their abilities, publish your book and then find out that they missed key mistakes.

Use Editing Tools

There are several tools out there that cost little to help you edit your book. Hiring an editor is a splendid idea, and you should not sacrifice that idea. However, using these tools before you hire someone will make their job easier and could lead to a cheaper cost in editing for you.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word has updated their grammar checker. As you are writing there will be a blue line for possible grammar mistakes and red lines for misspellings. You should have this setup to check your writing as you write. Once you complete your document, click “Review” from the ribbon and run the “Spelling & Grammar” feature.

Pro Writing Aid & Grammarly

You should use one or both of these tools for everything you write. Pro Writing Aid and Grammarly provide a more comprehensive review of your writing than Microsoft Word.

The best method for using these tools is to use Microsoft Word and Grammarly’s free version combined with Pro Writing Aid's premium service. Pro Writing Aid’s premium service runs about $80 a year.

Using these three tools will enhance your writing and help your present a better product to your editor.

One last editing tool you can use is Microsoft Word’s Read Aloud feature. Word will read your document as it is written. As humans, we read words into the writing that are not there. Word will not do that. Hearing it read aloud will give you the opportunity to understand how others will read your document.

Beta Readers

After editing and before you launch your book, ask a few trusted people to read your book. We call these readers beta readers. They can read your book not only for content but also for errors and clarity. Beta readers can also be the first folks to leave reviews once you publish your book. A good number to think about would be 3 to 5 beta readers. That number should give you great feedback on your book.

Editing your book is the last step to take before you publish. You put a lot of time, energy, and money into creating your book, so it’s important that the book represents you in the way you want it.

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