You need a team of people who are willing to sit with your manuscript and read it with a red pen marking every place they see a mistake, typo, or something that just doesn’t make sense to them.
None of my team is paid. They are thrilled to get to read the books first. But, not every willing person should be asked to take this task on.
Over the course of all the novels I have written, I have asked many different people to edit. Some never had more than one or two, some none, edits to make.
They are not your people. You want those who ‘see’ the mistakes. An editor once told me that it is hard to edit a really good book because the story sucks you in and you read past the mistakes.
That is great, but not for editing. You want them to find it all. I will say that with my first novel The Blood, I even hired a professional editor and it came back with so many mistakes it was embarrassing. I assumed, because I was new to the process, that since I had hired a professional editor it would be good to go. But, it wasn’t.
I also didn’t take the time and care beforehand that I do now. It is important to not rush any step of this process. Take your time with rewrites and using a grammar program. Then when you get it to a live person, either a free team or a professional editor, it will be much easier for them to do their job.
You can’t have too many people read and mark your manuscript. My process is to let one person read it, then make those corrections. Then I give it to another person and so on. One of the last people I let read and review the manuscripts is a woman who was and English professor at a university for many years.
When I think that all the mistakes have been found, I save it as an ebook and read it on my tablet. It is amazing how just reading in a different format changes the way you read and see. When I find an error, I do a screenshot and mark it with a big circle around it.
When done, I take each screenshot and make the corrections in Scrivener. I also usually find that since some time has gone by, I want to change a phrase or the way a sentence is laid out.
When I have done all I need to do and no one else can find any more mistakes, I am ready to format for the publishing world.
I want to encourage you to leave me any comments below. They are so encouraging and motivating to me.
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