We all should!
Whether it is a manuscript, article, novel, journal or a research paper, editing is must for all. In this blog post, we will be mentioning ‘editing a book’ but all the points will be relevant for articles, journals etc.
Editing a Book
It is editing a book that reduces if not eliminates grammatical mistakes and makes your work understood!
Editing a book takes care of punctuation bloopers. Consider the following
Punctuations can change the meaning of a sentence, making the whole communication either effective or ineffective. To be effective punctuations need to be used correctly. Punctuation is only one part of editing. Correct word usage, avoiding grammatical mistakes, a good flow in the story/text, consistency, voice, tense etc. are an essential part of editing a book. It is important not to put off the reader from reading your book or give him the wrong message( as in the examples above). Now consider this post. On first glance, the manuscript may seem to be well written, till you try to understand what he is trying to say, example below. Editing is all about getting the communication right. That is important right? Read the message below and try to understand what is he trying to say.
Can editing influence the success of my book?
People 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 a reader to pick your book. One of the most critical 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 – why am I writing this book? In most cases, the answer will be- for the book to be read by others! Suppose the book does not provide people with a pleasant reading experience because of the numerous spelling errors, errors in punctuation/grammar or a tedious description that keeps distracting the reader. Will they then want to read the book?
What will editing do for my book?
Editing will improve the readability of your book by correcting typos/punctuation/grammar and removing unnecessary bits of the text. A manuscript has to be lucky to get noticed amongst thousands of manuscripts received by a conventional publisher. If your manuscript is fortunate to get seen there is a fair chance that it will 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 – to get the book read by your target audience.
Is it Ok for me to edit my book by myself?
Or should I engage a professional editor? We are often asked this question. In many cases, writers accept that only self-editing a manuscript is adequate.
Our take – If you want your book to be read by others, professional editing is an absolute must. 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 by 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 storyline or the content is, if it’s a book meant for mass circulation, get your book edited by a professional editor – both fiction and non-fiction books.
What will be the work of an editor?
- 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 enable the reader to experience a happy reading experience.
- This will also depend on the type of editing you are going in for.
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”