Editing Your Manuscript

April 25, 2015

If you skip this step you are asking for trouble.  I can’t tell you how many manuscripts I have read which have errors in grammar, spelling or formatting.  Why bother submitting it if you don’t care enough to make sure it’s correct?  If you don’t care then why should a publisher?  I suppose if the story is awesome someone might overlook a spelling error but I wouldn’t count on it.  You may find that errors will overshadow the best quality story. 

Don’t edit your own work!  Regardless of whether or not you have a degree in English or have vast experience writing reports or policy at your job, you should never rely on your own editing.  The only way to ensure accuracy is to have a second or third person review your manuscript.   Never neglect the spell and grammar check on your computer but don’t solely rely on it.  This should only be your first step in the review process.  

The editing stage will most likely result in some revisions.  Perhaps the revisions are only fixing spelling, grammar or formatting, however, it is quite possible that the individual(s) you have reviewing your manuscript prior to submission have identified confusion in parts of the story, poor dialogue between characters or scenes that do not make sense.  The revision stage can be very frustrating for authors as you have no doubt already spent months or years writing your manuscript.  It is not easy to hear criticism and it is understandable if you feel impatient throughout the editing and revision stage however it is a vital component to writing and publishing.  It can mean the difference between getting published or not.  The last thing you want as an author is for someone to purchase your book and note an error when they post a review.  Your reputation as an author is at stake.