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How Clean is Your Manuscript?

Emma Walton Hamilton / Blog  / How Clean is Your Manuscript?
How Clean is Your Manuscript?

How Clean is Your Manuscript?

close up of a hygiene soap on white background with clipping patBefore you think I’ve gone all Pollyanna, let me say that I’m not talking about “content” here… I’m talking about presentation.

In today’s publishing world, editors and agents are looking for manuscripts that are essentially publication-ready.  Gone are the days of “developmental” editors, and even simple typos or grammatical errors can make them toss a manuscript aside. Do yourself a favor, and consider hiring a copyeditor/proofreader in addition to a content editor before you submit.

I’m not just advocating this because I’m an editor, I promise.  I do it myself!  Even though I’m a content editor, I can’t edit my own work, because I don’t see the weaknesses in my own writing that I can easily see in other people’s.

There are a number of different content editing services to consider, from simple manuscript evaluations to line editing – but after you’ve done that developmental editing, you should consider hiring a copyeditor, or proofreader.  You want an eagle eye to look over your manuscript one last time, to ensure there are no typos, missing commas, etc. before you begin the submission process. (Most content editors, even if they offer line editing, don’t attend to the finer points of copyediting, which is an art unto itself.)

Now for an endorsement: for proofing and copyediting, you need look no further than Beth Stilborn’s service. Beth has been spotting my typos for years, and doesn’t miss a thing – and, she’s offering a 20% discount through the end of February. Also, beginning in December, Beth will be doing Q&A-style blog posts on grammatical and word use questions on the third Monday of every month. 

So – there’s no excuse for not being clean!


Emma Walton Hamilton
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