A writer/author should make the manuscript the best it can be before sending it to the publisher. This goes for both traditional published authors and for Indie authors.
How can you make it the best possible?
- Proofread backwards. Start with the last word of the book to the front. This will help catch typos that Spell Check does not catch, such as “there” vs. “their.”
- Have someone else proofread. Another set of eyes will help catch things you may not.
- Ask Beta Readers to read your work and give you feedback.
- Try “Grammarly” at grammarly dot com. It is free and boast “Grammarly makes you a better writer by finding and correcting up to 10x more mistakes than your word processor.” Give it a try. It can’t hurt.
- If you can financially afford to do so, hire an editor.
If you cannot afford to hire an editor, read your manuscript line by line and do the following:
- Eliminate repeated words and phrases and replace them with different words/phrases.
- Search for the words “the,” “that,” and “had.” Does the sentence make sense if you cut out these words? I had a professor in grad school that said he if could he would cut the word “that” from the dictionary.
- Eliminate unnecessary modifiers such as the “ly” ending words – possibly, simply, etc.
- Get rid of cliches.
- Do not use words that you do not know the meaning. Use the dictionary and thesaurus to find the meaning and other words that can be used in its place.
- Be aware of the “tenses” in your manuscript. Are you writing in active or passive voice?
- Don’t be afraid to use the “delete key.”
- Rewrite, reword, rearrange sentences and paragraphs if needed.