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The Five Point Preamble: Essential Editing Checks (Part One)

So you’ve come through the long tunnel of love that represents the journey of a caring author at their work. You’ve completed your research, written all the chapters you think you need, laboured over the language and finally closed your file for the last time. This baby is ready to go to an editor.

As a career writer, published author and attentive editor who helps people bring their books to a waiting world, I’ve worked with many people like you who are excited at the prospect of getting their book published. Your career is ready to embrace the possibilities that come with being a published author and there is no small amount of pride involved in knowing that you are almost at the finish line.

Of course you’re going to invest in an editor. You’ve spent too much time and energy on writing your book to take a chance that there is something you’ve missed or that you have inadvertently made errors that will confuse your readers or detract from your credibility. There is a lot at stake. Once your book is in print, it’s an expensive proposition to go back and print new copies. It needs to be letter perfect.

And it’s another expense.

Some editors – like me – charge an hourly fee for editing. Every manuscript that comes to me is unique and the challenges I face in polishing that book into publishable form vary dramatically. Everybody has different organizational and analytical skills and everybody has a different skill with language. This is obviously reflected in the type of errors I might see in their manuscript: I breeze through some of the books I edit, making few changes and questioning few assertions; others are more problematic and require a much greater amount of time and skill to bring up to the level of professionalism their authors deserve. You’ve been spending years developing your skill set in your field; so have I. Together we make you look irresistible on paper.

Because I – and many other editors – charge by the hour, it’s a good idea for you to spend a little extra time and energy eliminating as many errors as possible first. I am grammar fanatic, and I feel the biggest gift you can give yourself is a solid education in what makes a sentence work. But I realize that one of the many reasons people hire an editor is because they are not confident that their grammar is up to snuff. It’s impossible to correct your grammar when you aren’t sure what the rules are, so we’ll set that issue aside for now and focus on what you can do to minimize your editing costs.

So that’s the starting point – my next two blogs will provide the nitty-gritty of how you can go about saving money on the editing of your book. In the meantime, if you’d like to talk about your book project, please connect with me at


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