Self-Editing Tips to Keep Costs Down

So you’ve finally finished your manuscript and you’re ready for an editor to take a look, but you have a tight budget and wonder if there is a way to keep the price tag to a minimum. Of course there are sites where you can hire freelancers for very low wages, but there are other ways to cut down on the cost of hiring a professional. Here are a few tips:

1.) Learn and follow a style guide. A style guide sets standards and rules for the creation of various documents. There are numerous style guides and manuals available; choosing the correct guide will depend on your intended audience, the purpose of your piece, and whether or not the outlet where you are submitting your piece has a specific style guide (perhaps even their own) that they follow. This list details many of the available style guides and who should use them.

In the US, most fiction and nonfiction book publishers generally follow the Chicago Manual of Style while adding on their own tweaks and preferences. You do not need to memorize or strictly follow CMoS as long as you stay consistent in your choices. For example, did you use a serial or Oxford comma in the first half of your manuscript? Then make sure you continued to do so throughout the entire piece. Consistency, above all else, is key.

2.) Clean up your manuscript. Give yourself a week or so away from your work and return to it with fresh(er) eyes. Read it through looking for inconsistencies, misspellings, awkward sentences, and incorrect or questionable grammar. Spell check and grammar check programs can be somewhat helpful, but keep in mind that they often miss things and are even sometimes incorrect.  Use an online dictionary like Merriam-Webster to double check spellings of compound and hyphenated nouns or to check usage. Add your unique character’s name to Word’s dictionary to make sure you haven’t misspelled it anywhere.

The fewer errors you have in your manuscript, the less time it will take your editor to read through it and make corrections. Ensuring you are handing in a clean manuscript will save you money, especially if your editor charges by the hour. If your editor charges by the word, you will still potentially cut costs by lowering the level of editing that your manuscript will require.

3.) Find some beta readers. An additional way to save on editing is by finding interested readers to go through your manuscript and give you feedback. Good beta readers can be a great help by providing you with constructive comments about your character development and plot. If you can work out any of these big picture kinks before engaging an editor, you will likely not need a developmental edit and go straight to copyediting and/or proofreading.

When looking for an editor let them know what services you are hoping for and alert them to any budget constraints. After reviewing your manuscript, many will be able to offer you a few packages to choose from. How much you are willing and able to invest in your writing business (and yourself) is ultimately up to you. Presenting a potential editor with a clean, well-developed manuscript will go a long way in saving you time and money.


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What’s New in 2019 for KM Baysal Editing?

Happy 2019! I don’t know about you, but that was quite a whirlwind of a year for me and many folks in my circle.

Having worked on a few interesting projects last year, I’ve discovered that my true joy lies in copyediting (and developmental editing) works of fiction, including fantasy and science fiction. If this is you, and you’re in search of an editor, I have some good news: I’m offering a 20% discount on all editing projects for fiction authors for at least the first half of 2019.

As an aspiring author myself, I recognize that professional editing services are essential (especially if you’re self-publishing) and costly. I want to help my clients achieve their creative goals with work that shines. I understand how difficult, and even scary, it can be to share your manuscript with someone after you’ve poured your heart into it. I can assure you that I take great care and mindfulness when making suggested edits and adding comments. It’s important to me that you understand why I suggest the things that I do and I explain my choices accordingly. It’s up to you to decide what you want to do with my suggestions.

If this sounds like the right fit for you and your work, please get in touch. After reviewing your manuscript, I will give you a commitment-free quote and a small sample edit. If you like the results, we will draw up a contract, including a delivery schedule, and proceed from there.

Here’s to a happy, creative, and productive 2019!

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