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Book Editing: Tips for Getting Started

January 14, 2020 (Last Updated September 22, 2020)

Marcy G.


At 48 Hr Books, we understand that book editing is an important step in the self-publishing process. We have reached out to freelance editors to help provide you with resources for getting started.

You can contact these book editors directly by going to our book editing resources page.

*Keep in mind that all communication and payment will take place directly between you and the editor of your choosing!


Why Book Editing is Important:

The most talented writers still need editors. A lot of new writers and self-publishers make the mistake of getting their books printed without having their work edited. This ends up hurting you in the long run, because as much as we want to take pride in our writing abilities, another set of eyes can catch mistakes that we overlook, while offering constructive criticism about word choice, flow, sentence structure, and more. Think about how many published books you have read that have random spelling errors or poorly worded sentences. Mistakes like these not only reduce your credibility as a writer, but they distract the reader from your content.


Finding an Editor:

As a self-publisher, you’re doing everything on your own, including seeking editing services. A simple Google search can lead you to online resources for freelance editors. Make sure you investigate websites that have solid reviews and are credible sources. Many freelance editors will either have their own websites or personal profiles that market their skills, list past projects, or show reviews from authors they have worked with. Do your research!

Another smart way to look for editing services is to join self-publishing groups on Facebook, blogs, and writing forums. These groups usually have members that are editors and would be happy to link their websites. Make sure you have direct correspondence about the details of your book to see if the collaboration would be a good fit. Take advantage of the online community available to you!


When you’re self-publishing, hiring an editor is recommended, however, it’s always a good idea to go through your book and conduct an initial proofread yourself. It’s easy to get so engrossed in the writing process that you don’t even notice errors until you go back and revise your work. Many writers have a routine in place for revision, whether it’s writing a paragraph or full chapter then going back and proofreading, or waiting until final completion to go back and make edits. This is entirely up to you. Conducting an initial edit yourself will ultimately make it easier for your editor to get started. You will be able to locate parts of the book, specific pages, or even sentences, that you feel you need input on, apart from the routine spelling and grammar corrections.


What to Evaluate:

Aside from basic spelling and grammar, here are some additional items you should evaluate.

Wordiness: Sometimes writers will fall into the trap of using more words than necessary to make a point or to describe a character, setting, or situation. Be descriptive, but not overwhelmingly so. Crowding sentences with unnecessary words can take away from the impact of what you’re trying to say.

Flow: Flow is complicated to define and achieve, and as a writing concept, is somewhat abstract and intuitive. To understand flow, begin by analyzing your topic sentences. Does the content that follows your topic sentence remain cohesive? Are you making logical connections throughout your writing? Is your writing clear and concise?

Repetition: Falling under the umbrella of flow is repetition. Being too repetitive in your writing is something you want to avoid. Change up your adjectives and descriptive language, so that when you go to re-introduce a character, you’re not describing them in the exact same way each time.  Repetition is boring. Being conscious of this will keep your readers interested in your ideas.

It can be hard to critique your own work. Make a note for your editor that these are all items that you want feedback on. Happy editing!


Is your book edited and ready for print? Download our free Ultimate Guide to a 48 Hour Book to learn everything you need to know about preparing your book and ordering from the fastest book printer in the world.


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Lisa January 24, 2020

The editing process is so important!

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