How To Edit Your Own eBook And Save Time And Money

It is a good idea to separates your writing session from your editing session. Last time I showed you a tool which helps you to focus on your writing session. So this time, I am giving you some excellent fundamental editing tips and a perfect tool helping you with some of it.

Writing and Editing Are Two Separate Processes

You are much more productive when separating Writing and Editing.

For your sake, when you are in the flow writing, stay in it as long as you can.

Write, Write, and Write.

Do your Editing in a separate session.

Same goes for editing.

Edit, Edit, and Edit.

If you do both in the same session you will not get into the flow, work with a constant context switch which distracts like hell.

You are much more productive when separating Writing and Editing.

Keep History of Your Manuscript

Before you edit anything of your work, make a copy of your manuscript. You should also make a copy of it after each editing round.

Sometimes you notice sentences, wordings and section of a previous revision where much better and with this approach you can get it back.

Better safe than sorry.

Split Your Editing Into Separate Processes Too

Do not try to fix everything at once. Start first with the big picture, like structure and general flow of your ebook. Is it reader friendly? Are you skipping information? Do you need to add more details, so it is understandable for beginners? Is it too complicated or has too much information; maybe you need to remove sections or topics altogether.

In the second round, you’ll be working on chapters and sections and check for typos, tweaking sentences and so on.

If you do both at the same time, it will also slow you down, and you waste much time.

Use Grammarly

Grammarly is the perfect tool for helping you with round 2 of your editing: the detailed checks. Let me introduce it to you.

Built by linguists and language lovers, Grammarly’s writing app finds and corrects hundreds of complex writing errors — so you do not have to.

At first, one might mistake it for a simple spell checker. However, it is not, it is a tool that helps with much more.

It checks for grammar mistakes, utilizes a context sensitive spell checker, suggests better synonyms and gives hints for rewriting sentences. Moreover, the best is, it displays information for each suggestion it makes and explains it to you. I am learning a lot through using it.

You can also specify your document type, i.e. be it a business article, a novel, academic writing or more, and it adjusts the check accordingly.

Grammarly checks your text against more than 250 advanced grammar rules. The checks include common grammatical errors, such as subject-verb agreement, article use, and modifier placement, in addition to contextual spelling mistakes, phonetic spelling mistakes, and irregular verb conjugations.

I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and started with a free account. It pointed at some common I I was doing on a constant basis.

For example: In the English language the pronoun i is written in upper case. However, I did always write it in lowercase and was not aware of this fact.

This is just one tiny mistake it corrects. I am thankful that it helps me to improve my writing.


In the screenshot, you see the editing of a previous revision of this article. The Incomplete comparison message was a false positive. The checker got probably confused by the “it” before the “suggests”. When I removed the “it”, the sentence sounded better, and the tool did recognize the sentence correctly. In the bottom part, you can see some typos.

I write almost all of my texts in Markdown and surprisingly it is not confused by it. At least not with the bare minimum of Markdown. I have not tested it with tables yet. That is great and can just copy and paste my text between Moopato and the Grammarly editor and do not lose any Markdown syntax. Also, it saves time as I do not have to reformat anything.

Grammarly is an online service but does offer desktop apps for Windows and Mac. However, for the text checks, you need to be online. I am using the Mac version, and it is quite an excellent distraction free working environment. I even started writing one of my last post in it and just added my code snippets I was writing about in Moopato’s sibling before posting it to my tech blog. A workflow I start to enjoy.

However, like any technology, it does have some issues and even fails from time to time. Moreover, text can be that complex that today’s machines can not comprehend it. Like the story of A Song of Ice and Fire or science work.

Hire a Professional Editor

You can do a lot yourself and with the help of Grammarly. However, at some point, you get too familiar with your book and do not see the issues anymore. That is the right time to get an editor.

Their services typically range from spell checking to story logic, development of your characters or facts checking in science.

Check out find an editor. They also got editing tips especially for novels.

Conclusion (and Save Time And Money)

You can do a lot yourself by using the essential editing tips and Grammarly is a superb companion for it. Practice and the tool help you to save time and money; and when you hire an editor, he can focus on aspects you or software cannot do.