21 established authors speak on Self-Editing.

Hey, are you about to publish your work?

And you want your work to be chosen by a traditional publisher –the ones who – take all the risks and pay royalties on your sales or better still offer a deal where they pay an advance against royalties – upfront?

Then self-edit to make your manuscript stand out among a thousand other submissions that find their way to them. –


Perhaps you want to be your own BOSS – and in that case, considering self-publishing. Self-editing will make your work crispier and cleaner and when it finally lands on an editors table there would be fewer rounds of editing saving both time and money.

SO-you have enough reasons to continue reading and know what 21 established authors practice — before sending their manuscript off to be edited by someone else.

I like to go through every chapter after writing it to catch any typos, to make any rearrangement of paragraphs, sentences or phrases, to check spelling and grammar mistakes, to check readability, and the flow. Grammarly comes in handy with this work. Then I pass my work through paper rater online software just to see how it rates in different areas. It helps me know what to improve on when compared to my peers. I do this for every chapter after I am done writing them. Then when done with the book, I let it rest for some time then do a read through from page A to Z to tidy up the work and ensure it’s one beautiful and well knit together book that is ready.

by Lorah Luvanda (Author) 

I proofread with a critical eye to remove things that doesn’t support the story line and thematic arc, also make corrections on punctuation, sentence structure and grammar.

Anokehi Yahaya Shuaibu

I self-edit, but you always want to have an extra set of eyes for a fresh perspective.-

J.D. Parsons

Reread everything as you write be your favorite writer and reread your writings, often.-

John Gibson

I edit after each chapter. Then my grammar, my nazi wife edits. Then I upload it into Pro writing aid. And run the program. It picks out stuff like words that are used to much. As well as a hundred other tiny things that most writers overlook. Then I edit again. This time focusing on the flow of the story. Sentence length and such. Then I have my sister read it and I ask questions to see if it worked.-

J.P. Lynch

Watch out for common word pair mistakes like father/further, affect/effect, less/fewer, etc. Spellchek, Grammarly, etc. won’t catch them.

Leila Kirkconnell

Edit after every 5 or 6 chapters, let it sit for a week or two when finished, self edit, self edit, self edit, autocrit edit, print it out and edit, send for beta reads, edit, send ti editor.

Beth Lammert-Velte

I self-edit as much as possible as I go. Then I run it through Grammarly and make needed changes. Then I run it through Hemingway Editor online. After that, I use an online text to voice app to hear it read to me. I edit out overused words I didn’t catch the first time like was and that etc. Then I pay a professional editor to polish it for me.

Cherri Pratt Taylor

I use Word, and the read aloud feature on the program. It was a game changer for me.

Emmy R. Bennett

Before spending money on an editor, I’ve already self-edited at least 3 times- reviewing development, beta reader feedback, and proofreading.

Tara Hunter

For many, editing is hard. You spot errors in previously ‘perfect’ text, you have to cut swathes of material that no longer fits, you need to ADD to paragraphs that are lacking.Every read through, every pass whittles the problems down, but for some, it can feel like a spiral into oblivion.It is a necessary evil – in many ways more important than the actual ‘writing’s of the book in the first place, but very few writers wake up in the morning, stretch and declare ‘I can’t wait for another day of writing my own work.’-

David Chandler

I usually edit as I go, finishing a chapter and give it a quick read through. Then I’ll get a couple of beta readers before I proof read it. I don’t feel the need to do much more, it feels like it defeats the point when you edit something again and again, it gets further away from what you originally wanted.

Joe Griffiths

For every 10 mistakes you find you will find another 5 the next time. Read it on the computer and print it out.-

SJ Gregory

I usually write in a notebook the first draft so that when I’m re-typing it in a computer I will be able to correct the mistakes.-

Thokozan Boitumelo Ndlovu

I usually go through at the end of a writing session. Then I go over it about 2 times before revising. Then revise read through again, edit again. Then Beta and they spot anything I missed then if needed I would edit and revise to the reactions.

Brodie Whitburn

There are several kinds of editing. I find it helpful to do each kind separately, in passes. It’s hard not to fix an error of a different type when I see it but doing them in this order reduces redundant effort. Developmental editing where you improve the story itself, fix plot inconsistencies, etc. That should be done first. Line editing is where you focus on sentence structure, readability, and language. Lastly there is proofreading where you look for grammar and spelling mistakes. In addition, you may want to do a formatting check to make sure your headings, indents, and spacing are all correct.

Michael Martine

I use what I’ve already written as a warm up for more writing.-

Zaslow Crane

I used to be the copy editor for a publishing company, so I do a hard line edit first. I have a couple of beta readers who are friends, free and fabulous. They ask me logic questions as well as tracking on actual errors. I input all their corrections and then do one more line edit myself with a page-list of all the corrections and questions at the side of my keyboard to make sure that I did everything.-

Dana Lee Quinney

I use Google Docs and they have a decent real time editor. Also I self edit by reading through the write several times. Beta readers do not typically line edit but some do. I have several independent unique editors that have partnered with me.-

Val Amant

Quality editing is vital, though, because your message will get rapidly lost to the reader if he/she gets distracted by poor grammar, punctuation, word-usage, etc. Take the time to look up words to make sure you are using the correct one, tense, etc.-

Thomas Blitch

I turn on the TTS (text to speech) option, set the read-back speed, and listen with my eyes closed. Some words will never be read correctly, but it’s a great way to catch words that are duplicated, in the wrong order, tense issues, plural vs singular issues, and many punctuation errors can also be caught.After this, I line edit again.

A.R. Maloney

Babika Goel as a successful author has coached many a budding writers due to her varied experiences and exposure to culturally, linguistically, and ethnically diverse countries.

You can email her at B@authorsonline.in or reach out personally on her Instagram handle – Authorsonline

The lost intimacy-a dazzling and provocative take on abusive marriage
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