Sites to help a self-published author or aspiring before you call your editor.
You have just put the last full stop on your brand spanking new manuscript, you are elated, the high of finishing a project is similar to the runners high, without the panting! Enjoy the high, crack a bottle of bubbly and take the rest of the day or week off! Revel, completely, in your accomplishment, you have finished a book boo! (claps in writer’s achievement).
After a week, it is time to go back to your work and engage in the hardest part of creating a book, EDITING!!!
Editing is a daunting task, harder than writing the book and it is expensive! Most self-published or aspiring authors just don’t have the capital to hire an editor or worse to the funds to keep going back for revisions etc. So before you send off your typo riddled-grammar horror to an editor (who by the way can be your English teacher as a start, please make sure said teacher is pedantic), here are a few sites you can run your manuscript through and ensure an easier editing process.
Sites for Editing
- Grammarly: Grammarly is an extension that you can add to google and it will help you construct grammatically correct sentences. It also helps you get rid of any unnecessarily wordy paragraphs and suggests replacements. The unpaid version is good enough but, the paid version will be an editor in your pocket. I have been using Grammarly for about four years now and it has trained me to look out for my common mistakes when it comes to writing like placing a comma after the word “because” only because it is a rule I vaguely remember from primary school. I still haven’t looked up why I do that. It now also has a plugin for word, so you can edit as you write. I, however, have not gone with option because I believe editing as you write distracts you from getting to the end of the story. What to keep in mind: Unpaid Grammarly doesn’t allow you to export your entire manuscript, you may have to edit chapter by chapter depending on the length of your chapters
- Hemingway Editor: The Hemingway Editor is your school teacher! This site highlights every “error” all of it, nothing is spared, which can be frustrating. I use the Hemingway site more as a check, to see what I want to get rid of and what I think the site is being TOO much on. I do love that it gives you a list of things to consider and the recommended number you should aim for. For example, I put one of my articles through the site and it told me I have 17 adverbs and should aim for 6 or fewer, it highlights the adverbs. It also highlights hard to read sentences and tell you when a sentence could be simpler (similar to Grammarly). Hemingway Editor also gives you a readability score, this informs you of how difficult or easy it is for people to read your writing, the score is given a grade. So, the article I ran through the site gave me a grade 9 readability score, meaning people who have grade 9 and above will find my article easy to read.
- Cliche Finder: The Cliche Finder is a site where you paste your writing and it picks up all the cliches in the text. This is useful for when you want to find other words to communicate your point. It is also important to avoid overused words because people have assigned their own connotations to certain words and phrases. It is always best if you can say something in a different way.
4. If you have a smartphone and are someone who likes writing while on the go, or if you are working with someone else on your manuscript, then Google Docs is your friend. It allows you to make notes that update on all synced devices and sends notes to the person you have added to the document, meaning you don’t have to wait until you are in front of your laptop to write. Google Docs also helps with storing your manuscript in chapters or be able to see your entire manuscript on-screen without having to scroll up and down too far, this is great for the editing phase.
Another useful feature is the Google Docs Voice typing, this pretty much explains itself. When you are too lazy to move your fingers across the keyboard you can talk to your screen and it will type for you, ( I haven’t used this feature yet but I will be soon and give a proper review).
5. Reedsy Book Editor is a heaven-sent writing tool platform for self-published authors. It is completely free and has all the bells and whistles. Reedsy Book Editor will help you typeset your book! And will help you create an E-book file that is compatible with most Ereaders. And for your print books, it will format it with a click and have you ready to send off to the printers confident all your paragraphs and chapters are in the right place. This is where most authors struggle, the layout and typesetting is a headache and Reedsy takes this headache and hands it an aspirin!
That is all I have for you today, I hope you have found this helpful. Leave any questions you have in the comments below. And if you know a self-published or aspiring author please share this article with them. We only win when we win together.
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