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More on Editing

books creationprocess editing redthreadpublishing Apr 28, 2024

Cliff Notes Editing:

First Draft is for You to Discover What You Have to Say. 
Editing is to Focus on What Do My Readers Need?
REMEMBER: Every bit of feedback is a gift

Mastering the Art of Editing: Top Tips for Nonfiction Authors

As a nonfiction author, the editing process is crucial to ensuring your work is polished, professional, and impactful. Whether you're writing a memoir, a self-help book, or a historical account, these editing tips will help you refine your manuscript to perfection.

  1. Ways to Edit: Self-Edit, Beta reader, Developmental Edit, Final Edit

    1. Read out loud to yourself. For big picture & to catch awkward parts. 
    2. Text to audio software- listen to your book. 
    3. Refer to our Editing rubrics to make sure you are hitting all the marks. 
  2. Start with Structure: Before diving into detailed edits, evaluate your book's structure. Ensure your chapters flow logically, with each section contributing to your overall message. Use headings and subheadings to guide readers through your content.

    1. STRUCTURE: Not thinking about connecting various points to each other. (JR High rudimentary skill. Every sentence in a paragraph belongs. What is the point of each paragraph? Does every sentence belong there… - and each paragraph, in each chapter. …)
    2. Balance TOO MUCH OBJECTIVE FACTS— or — TOO MUCH STORY TELLING… you need a balance of both. Story connects people to objective facts. See-saw illustrate the facts.
  3. Focus on Clarity: Nonfiction books should be easy to understand. Eliminate jargon and unnecessary complexity. Use clear, concise language to convey your ideas effectively.

    1. Read out loud to yourself. For big picture & to catch awkward parts. 
    2. Text to audio software- listen to your book.
  4. Fact-Check Thoroughly: Accuracy is key in nonfiction. Double-check all facts, dates, and references to ensure they are correct. Consider including a bibliography or list of sources for transparency.

  5. Cut the Fluff: Nonfiction books should be informative and engaging without unnecessary filler. Cut out any repetitive or irrelevant content to keep your manuscript focused and compelling.

    1. PARKING LOT (move aside phrases sections & words… that you love but doesn’t belong where it was).,, — pull things out that don’t belong & see if there is a better place for that.
  6. Enhance Readability: Use formatting techniques to enhance readability, such as bullet points, lists, and tables. Break up long paragraphs for easier digestion of information.

  7. Consistency is Key: Maintain consistency in formatting, style, and tone throughout your book. This includes spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Consider creating a style guide to ensure uniformity.

  8. Seek Feedback: Before finalizing your manuscript, seek feedback from beta readers or a professional editor. Fresh eyes can catch errors and provide valuable insights for improvement.

  9. Edit for Flow: Ensure your writing flows smoothly from one point to the next. Use transitions to connect ideas and guide readers through your narrative or argument.

  10. Check for Voice: Nonfiction books often benefit from a strong authorial voice. Ensure your voice is consistent and engaging, aligning with your target audience's expectations.

    1. Author Write from Author Voice— more like they speak rather than authentic voice— every sentence needs to be grammatically correct.
  11. Proofread Diligently: Finally, proofread your manuscript meticulously. Look for typos, grammatical errors, and formatting issues. Consider reading your work aloud to catch any awkward phrasing.

    1. Catch Common mistakes. 
    2.  Grammarly- to catch simple grammar & spelling.
    3. *One space after sentences NOT TWO*

By following these editing tips, you can refine your nonfiction book to captivate readers and deliver your message with clarity and impact. Editing is a challenging but essential part of the writing process, so take your time and ensure your book is the best it can be.


Watch the replay

Meet one of our in-house editors Dr. Ali Atkinson, and learn more about writing & the editing process.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Editing happens many times in various ways

  2. We need outside help to edit to publishable quality 

  3. Editing is so much more than grammar

  4. Maintain your voice- but don't write like you talk. 

  5. Editing is about what the reader needs.  

The above is a summary of last weeks Writer Circle Session & Story Incubator. The participants are drafting & Editing their nonfiction manuscripts in the 6-month container we provide. Learn more & join Story Incubator. Try Writer's Circle (first 2 weeks free).



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Red Thread Publishing houses two imprints. Red Thread Books was founded with a mission to support 10,000 women to become successful published authorpreneurs & thought leaders. We have expanded to incorporate a second imprint [Red Falcon Press] for all genders encouraging more silenced and marginalized folks to share their voices & stories. 

To date, we have supported 205+ people from 24 countries to Write & Publish their books. 


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