1 Writing and Editing Your Book


This may be the one place we can’t help. We can’t write your bestseller for you, and we haven’t discovered a cure for writer’s block–though we can bring you some inspiration from other writers.

“A word after a word after a word is power.”
― Margaret Atwood

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”
― Neil Gaiman

“I hate writing, I love having written.”
― Dorothy Parker

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
― Jack London

Of course, there are organizations who can help you grow as a writer.

One of these is our partner GrubStreet. GrubStreet is one of the nation’s leading creative writing centers. GrubStreet offers more than 600 classes and events each year for writers of all walks and also provides manuscript consultations. You can check out their workshops and offerings at grubstreet.org.

Sometimes the best help with writing comes in the form of an editor.


Editing is part of what turns a manuscript into a book.

Traditionally, publishers took on the critical role of editing.

If you are self-publishing, an external editor is not necessary, but is highly recommended.

Some of you reading this may be writers, editors and journalists by trade. If so, you’re lucky because you may be able to sculpt your own book and do a considerable amount of self-editing. You may even have colleagues you can draw on for another set of eyes. That said, we think even professional writers can benefit from having their book edited by an objective professional.

Publishing houses involve different types of editors at different stages in the editing process. So you’ll need someone who can play all these roles:

  • Developmental editors, best brought onboard in the early stages, help you shape and structure the work as a whole.
  • Line editors go line by line through your manuscript, finessing the writing, voice and content. This type of editing involves (re)writing.
  • Copy editors fix grammatical issues and remedy errors and inconsistencies.
  • Style editors make the text conform to the accepted style of its genre–such as APA, Chicago, MLA, AP or others. This round of edits addresses stylistic elements such as capitalization, preferred spellings, punctuation, references and footnote formatting.
  • Proofreaders deploy a close eye to catch and correct typos, misspellings and potentially embarrassing mistakes.

As you can see, editing a book-length tome can be a lengthy, nuanced and subjective process. Choose a service that offers the type of editing you need, at a straightforward price and timeline.

We recommend Bubblecow[1] for their upfront pricing, easy-to-understand process and quick turnaround.

Learn more about how to hire a book editor[2] in this interview with editor Gary Smailes, founder of Bubblecow.

  1. http://bubblecow.com/
  2. http://pressbooks.com/blog/how-to-hire-an-editor/


The Pressbooks Guide to Self-Publishing, 2nd Edition Copyright © 2015 by Pressbooks. All Rights Reserved.


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