When you finished your manuscript, the next significant milestone is editing. In my experience, informal editing was as crucial as formal editing.
Both types of editing can involve correction, organization of ideas, modification of chapters, replacement, deleting, or even rewriting. Be open to ALL of it!
I think that informal editing could be two things: self-revision and all of those opportunities to show people around you, your work, and get feedback.
For the self-revision process, Grammarly Premium is a fantastic tool! Grammarly corrects grammar, spelling, and even helps with style. It is effortless and fun to use. I would highly recommend this tool for anyone writing non-fiction, fiction, or even social media and/or business communications.
Showing people you trust your work not only helps with confidence but also helps to overcome the fear of critique. While writing Fearless, I did three reading parties with girlfriends in Honduras, Spain, and Mexico. I printed some chapters, and we talked about them over wine. One important thing is to prepare prompts or specific questions in advance, not just ask them, “what did you think?”.
Formal editing needs to be seen as an investment, never an expense. It is truly an investment in your work, is more than just “polishing” your work. It is sharing your work with a professional neutral party, with someone that would enhance what you have written. And not just in terms of the actual writing but also in terms of the reader’s experience.
Learnings from my (formal) editing journey:
- Do your research: I spent a lot of time reading reviews and submitting free samples to various online editing platforms. I wanted to get a sense of what they were offering, response time, quality, and overall vibe. I recommend using Scribendi or Bookbaby services.
2. Understanding the different types of the editing process is critical: I did two editing rounds for my book. The first one I did is called manuscript editing. It is an in-depth line by line revision; it identifies language issues, and the editor gives advice about content. The second round is called proofreading, which provides a careful final review focusing on grammar and spelling.
3. If you are happy with your first editor, stick with her/him. If you are not satisfied, find another one: my first editor (manuscript editor) was great! I felt she really connected with my book’s purpose. She really understood what I was trying to accomplish. I asked her to do the second round as well.
4. Trust your editor, but also trust yourself. It needs to be a two-way relationship, I think that is why I enjoyed so much the process with Scribendi. The editor was really mindful of all the proposed changes-even with the ones I didn’t agree with.
If this is a path you are curious about, I’m happy to answer any questions.
Thank you for reading me,
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