We all do!
Editing a book
It is editing a book that reduces if not eliminates grammatical mistakes and makes our work to be understood correctly!
Editing a book takes care of punctuation bloopers. Consider the following:
lets eat Grandpa.
Let’s eat, grandpa.
“Elephants Please Stay In Your Car.” (Warning at a safari park). “Elephants! Please stay in your car.”
Punctuations can change the meaning of the sentence, making the whole communication either effective or ineffective. To be effective punctuations need to be used correctlty. Punctuation is only a part of editing. Correct word usage, avoiding grammatical mistakes, flow of the story, consistency, voice, tense are important. It is important so a reader is not to be put off from reading your book or gets the wrong message. Now consider this post. On the first glance it is well written, till you try to understand what he is trying to say.
Factors that are involved in the success of a book:
People in today’s world are inundated with choices. Thousands if not more books are out there vying for the reader’s attention. If we have to grab the reader’s attention we need to take care of ALL major and minor aspects that will affect the decision of the reader to pick up your book. One of the most important elements in a book’s success is the readability, structure and flow of the text.
The moot question an author has to ask him/herself is – what am I writing this book for? In most cases the answer will be- for the book to be read by others! If the book does not provide people with a pleasant reading experience and all their attention is focused on either errors of spelling/punctuation/grammar or tedious description, will they then read it?
What does editing do for your book?
It improves the readability of your book by correcting typos/punctuation/grammar and removing unnecessary bits of the text. A manuscript has to be lucky to be noticed amongst thousands of manuscripts by a traditional publisher. But it may face rejection because of poor editing and therefore poor readability.
In the case of self-published books, it becomes even more necessary to get professional editing done. To achieve your primary goal.
The next question an author will ask is:
Can I edit my own book?
Should I engage a professional editor?
If you want your book to be read by others good editing is absolutely essential. You may ask “If my language skills are good then can I edit my own work?” The answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Good editing is expensive hence you need to decide the purpose for which you are writing the book. If it’s for private circulation, amongst friends, family, and within limited groups and you have good language skills, then go ahead and edit your book yourself. If you plan to publish the book through a traditional publishing house then they will pass your book through a few round of edits before publishing it. The catch here is that, for getting your book accepted by a traditional publisher, you need to submit a piece that is already well edited.
No matter how good the story line or the content is, if it’s a book meant for mass circulation then get your book edited by a professional editor – both fiction and non-fiction books. An editor will look at all mistakes or omissions that slipped your gaze. He/she will look at typos, spelling, grammar, sentence construction, the suitability of a word in a particular context, pace, tense, voice and many other factors. This will lead the reader to a happy reading experience. Editing will happen only once but the pleasure for thousands if not millions of those reading your book will be immense.
“Reading is an adventure that never ends”