Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Manuscript Editing

A recurring question in class revolves around the desire to have some editing help with the manuscript. Although a bit beyond what is discussed in our Self Publishing and Sell Your Book course, I set about looking at the question. Here is what I would suggest.

1. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of the grammar checker in your word processing program. Daniel Kies provides a comparison of the programs in his article, Evaluating Grammar Checkers.

2. Join a writers group such as the Central Oregon Writers Guild. They can offer suggestions on small portions of a manuscript and there will be a professional editor who you may hire.

3. There are a number of online editing products for checking the manuscript. A popular one is EssayRater. There is a free rater that will look at citations, contextual spelling, grammar, punctuation, style, and word choice. One will need to upgrade to a fee-based review to discover how to fix the problems. Its size limit is 20 pages.

4. A software program that resides on your computer is offered by WhiteSmoke. One can choose between different writing styles: general, business, creative, medical, and executive. It sells for $89.95 and can process one chapter at a time. It received endorsements for Yahoo, NBC, and CNN Business 2.0.