How to Self-Edit Your Book

How To Self Edit Your Book

Every published author knows that finishing the book is only half the battle. Your first draft needs to be torn apart, written and rewritten, and chiseled to perfection. For traditionally published books, this isn’t such a big deal, since the publishing house will cover the cost. However, for a self-published author, hiring an editor can be unbearably expensive. A quality editor in the fantasy genre can cost up to TEN-THOUSAND DOLLARS!

Unfortunately, if you want to succeed, an error-free book is crucial to the reader experience. Good news is, if you don’t have the spare change for a professional editor, there is an alternative, two-step method that works nearly as well.

Step One: Editing Software

The first step will include ridding your manuscript of all its spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. This can be accomplished using either Grammarly or ProWritingAid. For only $30-240, you can download these programs online and use them to clean and shine your manuscript. My advice: Read your entire story out loud to yourself while running the program. You’ll be shocked at how many small mistakes you’ll find this way that you would never have noticed while reading to yourself.

Unsure of which software to choose? Here’s the comparative rundown:

Grammarly

Pricing

$ 29 Monthly / $132 Yearly
  • Life Time Plan: Unavailable
  • Free Plan: Available

Editing Tools​

  • Desktop App: Free​
  • Mobile App: Free​
  • Browser Extention: Free​

Editing Quality​

  • Grammar and Spelling: Strong​
  • Writing and Content Quality: Moderate​
  • User Friendliness: Strong​

ProWritingAid

Pricing

$ 20 Monthly / $80 Yearly
  • Life Time Plan: $240
  • Free Plan: Available

Editing Tools​

  • Desktop App: Free​
  • Mobile App: Free​
  • Browser Extention: Unavailable

Editing Quality​

  • Grammar and Spelling: Strong​
  • Writing and Content Quality: Strong​
  • User Friendliness: Moderate​

In short: Both of these tools are great options for cleaning up your first draft. If you think your book is in need of more content editing, and you’re on a tighter budget, then ProWritingAid will probably work best for you.

Step Two: Beta-Readers

Once you’ve finished cleaning up your manuscript, it’s important to have someone read it over with a fresh eye. This is where your launch team comes in. A launch team is basically your support group, friends and family who are motivated to see you succeed and wouldn’t mind reading over your work. Give your book to as many people as you can, and tell them to show no mercy. The more feedback you get now, the better your editorial reviews will be in the future!

Can’t find a launch team? Try searching Facebook for fantasy writers’ support groups. There are tons of them out there, and I’m sure you’ll be able to find a couple of friendly folks who’d gladly give your project a read.

While hiring a quality, professional editor is probably still the ideal, this two-step solution is a great replacement for those who can’t afford one. Whether you’re planning to self-publish or to query literary agents, this plan will whip your manuscript into shape and put your book one step ahead of the rest. If you do have the funds and prefer to hire an editor, be sure to check out ebooklaunch. They are very professional, and their prices are among the best you’ll find.