How To Easily Proofread And Edit Your Own eBook

You’ve finally written the last word of your manuscript, and it’s all done and dusted. You’re now a fully fledged writer! However, after the writing comes the editing, and that’s where some writers become unstuck. If you’re wondering where to start with editing, don’t worry. Here are the best tips for editing your book and getting it polished, ready for publication.

Let the manuscript rest

You’re eager to get started and get your manuscript edited, but it’s best to leave it for a while. If you can bear it, leave it a whole week before you look at it again. Doing this is advisable as it gives you some distance from the text. When you come back to it, you want to have forgotten some of it, so it’s easier to see where edits need to be made.

Read it out loud

“Reading your text out loud sounds like it’s kind of ridiculous, but in fact it’s a tried and tested proofreading tool. When you read the book out loud, you can get a real feel for how the story flows and sounds to the reader,” suggests a chief editor of BoomEssays. As you’re reading, it’ll be much easier to see where errors have been made, so you can mark them down to be corrected.

Print it out

As well as reading your text out loud, make sure that you print it out, too. This works in a similar way. If you read directly off the computer screen, it can be harder to spot the mistakes you’ve made. If you print it out, though, you’re looking at the book in another medium. This way, you can see the errors right away. It’s time to bring out the red pen and mark up that text.

Use online tools

When editing, there are plenty of tools online that will help make the job easier. Try using some of these tools as you edit your ebook:

  • Easy Word Count: This tool will give you an accurate word count for your manuscript. It also highlights any errors made in writing.
  • Write My Assignment: If you’re not sure where to start with editing, the editors here can show you what to do.
  • Cite It In: If you use sources in your book, use this tool. It will give you the right citations for everything you use.
  • Custom Essay: This website is an excellent resource for grammar, if you feel yours needs some help.
  • Proofread Bot: Paste your text into this tool, and it will highlight any errors that have been made.
  • Paper Writers: This writing community can work with you if you want an extra pair of eyes on your manuscript.

Recognize and remove your crutch words

Every writer has words that they use more often than they need to. Go through your book, and look for the words that crop up over and over again. There may be a few that instantly jump out at you, and these are your crutch words. When you find them, edit or remove them to give your book more variety and interest.

Be careful not to over edit

Editing is vital, but it is possible to over edit your work. Try not to sit too long with it, because you might start seeing issues where there are none. A good way of avoiding this is by taking regular breaks. Another way is to give the manuscript to a trusted friend, and ask their opinion.

Editing and proofreading can be simple when you know how. Use these tips, and write the best text you possibly can.

image by Gamma-Ray Productions


  1. Karl8 July, 2017

    “It also highlights any errors made in writing.”
    “it will highlight any errors that have been made.”

    Um… no. There’s no software that can come close to finding “any errors,” or even “any grammatical errors,” or even score 100% on finding “any spelling errors” (thanks to homophones).

  2. Will Entrekin8 July, 2017

    These are all terrific suggestions for what to do before you hire a professional editor.

  3. Breanne8 July, 2017

    I agree with the other two comments. This article oversimplifies the editing process necessary for a published book, independent of otherwise. These tips are a good starting point, perhaps better suited to a paper you are submitting a for a grade.

    If you’re writing a nonfiction or fiction book to publish online, it would be in your best interest to seek out a professional editor after following the tips listed here.

    The writer of this article is advised to seek out a proofreader, as this article also featured a number of typos and missing words. Unfortunate.

    1. Nate Hoffelder9 July, 2017

      what typos?

      I looked but can’t find any.

      1. Karl9 July, 2017

        Since you asked (though it wasn’t me you asked):

        “where have errors have been made”

        “Every writer has words that you use more often than they need to” (“Every writer” is implicitly third person, “you” is second, and “they” is third again.)

        “Try not to sit too long with it, and start seeing issues where there are none.” (The two clauses don’t really agree.)

        “A good way of doing this is taking regular breaks.” (In its context, “doing this” should be “avoiding this.”)

        There were also a few instances of unnecessary commas before clauses beginning with “and,” including the one that’s in the third excerpt above.

        1. Nate Hoffelder9 July, 2017

          thank you.

  4. Mackay Bell9 July, 2017

    Not everyone can afford to hire a professional editor. Nor should every writer who can afford one spend the money. Some books (off-genre, too experimental, too personal) will never justify the expense in terms of potential sales.

    This is not to say that professional editing can’t be helpful and wonderful, particularly to save time for writers who are generating enough income from writing to afford it. A successful indy writer is probably better off spending their time writing the next book, rather than carefully proofreading the last.

    That being said, there are successful writers who proofread themselves (or with beta readers) and plenty of horror stories about first time writers who shell out a lot of money for editing and end up very unhappy. (There are some bad editors out there, as well as excellent ones. It’s often hard for a beginning writers to find the right one.)

    The writers who will benefit most from professional editing already know it in most cases. For those who don’t know, it’s good for them to have as much info about alternatives as possible. Thanks for the info, Nate!


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