So, you completed the first draft for your upcoming book. That is just great. Now, what is your next step going to be? You guessed it right. Editing.
You can do it yourself or hire a professional editor but you just cannot skip the step. If you are doing it yourself then you must take a break of 4 to 5 weeks (or more) before you start editing; suggested by many renowned authors; as you’ll have a fresh eye for it.
Also, make sure you read the draft with a reader’s perspective to get better insights into the experience of the book.
Getting a reader's perspective is not an easy task, as you have a biased eye for your book. “Come on it is your baby after all.”
That’s where an editor comes in, a fresh pair of eyes who is going through the book for the very first time.
An editor is going to help you identify the tiniest of spelling or grammatical mistakes, repetition, tones, etc. that can easily slip off your eyes.
No matter who does it, when editing is carried out properly it's going to transform your draft into a refined book. So, let’s check out a few things about editing.
Why is it so important?
The importance of editing is manyfold. To start with, you can make sure that your book has consistency in every way and flawlessly connects to the readers.
Editing helps a writer with a lot of things such as
checking and correcting the orders of the chapters
the jargon used
the tone of each character
the flow of the story.
These are the basics that every book should have, in order to establish a narrative or an idea in the mind of the readers.
Any such mistake can hamper the reading experience. And you would not want that.
Editing also involves fact-checking, which makes the book more relevant and connects to a reader better.
It also makes the content more authentic and believable for the readers.
Let’s now look at the different stages of book editing.
Stages of book editing
Book editing is divided into three stages:
Each stage has its own importance and none can be ignored when you want to publish a great book.
If you are new to book writing, you must go through all these three to get a better understand of the steps you need to take once you complete your first draft.
Structural editing, also known as developmental editing, is the first stage of editing. In this step, the structure, the flow, and the rationality of the book is checked.
How smoothly does the story unfold?
Are the theme and narrative consistent?
Do the plots and sub-plots make sense?
All of these are taken care of in this phase.
It gives a polished version of the raw draft with a consistent theme, narrative, and point of view, which is followed throughout. Structural editing provides overall clarity to the story.
Once the structure of the book is ready, the next step is copy editing.
It is a word-by-word editing process that is carried out for an in-depth inspection of the draft.
This process will help you get rid of any and every small mistake that you might have made while writing the first draft.
All the grammatical mistakes, punctuations, spelling, abbreviations, and capitalization, are checked and marked. The use of biased language or jargon that can create a negative impact on the book reading experience is also checked in during the copy-editing process.
Fact-checking is also carried out in this step to make the book authentic and relatable.
This step might make your draft look like a bundle of pages marked with red, but it's all worth it as you don’t want to break the flow of your readers with these minute mistakes.
After completing the first two steps you can move to the last step, i.e., proofreading.
This final phase of editing is to give the finishing touch to the book. It involves checking on any remaining typographical or grammatical errors that were missed in the copy-editing phase.
Errors in the numbering, image reference, and table references are eliminated during proofreading.
Any inconsistency in the character’s image or tone is also checked to ensure maximum quality control.
Proofreading is an intense process and requires utmost focus and clarity.
Because this stage of editing ensures that the final book is as polished as possible and the chance of error is reduced to zero.
A book that does not go through a proper editing process is sure to have many errors that can confuse the reader.
It is very important to spend a good amount of time and energy editing the book to ensure that the quality is not compromised.
Editing eliminates all the mistakes with each step and makes the book smooth and interesting to read. It also helps in establishing a connection with the readers.
In short, a draft becomes a book or a novel only after it goes through the different phases of editing.
Also, don’t forget to check out other writers who are now authors with us.
We are happy to help. Do let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.