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Do-It-Yourself Editing - Book Budget Basics: Go Organic

Editing your own manuscript isn't difficult, but it requires time and energy, and the payoff is enormous.

Self Editing Cost? Zero Dollars.

First, you save a ton of money by doing the edit yourself. Second, even if you end up using a professional editor, fees will be significantly reduced since your manuscript will be that much closer to perfect. Do a quick on-line search for do-it-yourself editing books. You will soon discover they have one weakness in common: They assume that you already perfectly know grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Thus, with most of these guides, you are back to square-one. It doesn't have to be that way.

Go Organic!

Organic Editing is a much simpler, budget-friendly way to improve your manuscript. Touted as new-age by many, organic editing is a process that combines the oldest and newest methods of correcting the written word.

Reading Aloud Is The Key.

In order to do a complete organic edit, there are some basic requirements. First, find a few friends who are willing to help. Second, be sure to use a simple spell checker and grammar program. Many are available on-line for free. Finally, be willing to read your book out loud to yourself and others several times (this is the most critical step). The time you spend at this endeavor is worth its weight in gold. The final product will be a flowing, tight, virtually error-free document.

Quick-FAQ on Organic Editing.

Do spell checkers and grammar robots work?

Answer: Yes and no. It depends which ones you use. Modern spell bots are pretty good, but they miss lots of common like-sounding words; their/there, rose/rows, too/two, etc. By working with a list of fewer than 100 common sound-alikes, you'll weed out 99 percent of the problem. Grammar checkers are satisfactory provided you know their limitations. Yes, they are pathetic when it comes to suggesting corrections, but remarkable in finding awkward constructions and areas of text where mistakes lurk. Best to look at underscores, circle questionable passages, then totally rewrite those particular segments. Again, the key to organic editing is the "aloud" component, something which is irreplaceable, and absolutely cannot be done by a robot.

Does Organic Editing make my book perfect?

Answer: No. Nothing will make your book perfect, not even a professional editor. An organic edit will find many more errors than the typical self-edit, which goes something like this: Re-read the document, proof it for grammar and spelling, possibly have a friend look it over for mistakes. That's that. Easy. Boring. Ineffective.

Organic editing is an alternative method, as it relies on your own innate ability to hear things as they should be. Most of us are much better writers than we think we are. We tend to ignore our inborn, subconscious language skills. Hearing is the key. That's why a thorough self edit of your book, resume', term paper, or business document can generate vast improvement by reading aloud, as well as listening to someone else read the text aloud.

Is there a "system" for this style of self editing, which follows specific steps?

Answer: Yes, a successful organic edit consists of several steps, which should be done in a specific order. No single facet of this method is difficult. If you spend time getting to know your manuscript, you'll be shocked at how much better you can make it before it goes to press.

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Larry Belle is a freelance editor. He holds an MBA degree, has worked as a speech/technical writer. His service offers fast turnaround, low prices, a 5% discount for first-time authors, and a free 500-word sample edit. Contact: www.pennyawordediting.webs.com/



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