When you’re publishing a book, the first thing you need – and most critical thing- is an editor. This will make or break your book. I mean, when you are reading a book and someone uses the wrong form of you’re, it yanks you out of the story, right?

m-man_with_empty_pocketsSo NEVER EVER skip the editor. But when you’re goal is to publish for free, how are you going to get a good editor without emptying your pocket?

You’d be surprised how simple and easy it is. Now… I may be shooting myself in the foot here. I am a freelance editor myself and I’m telling you how to get around paying me to edit your book. So please be nice.

So that being said, here are four ways to get your book edited for free.

  1. teachingenglishFind the local college – Now this one is a bit surprising, most English professors will take delight in editing your manuscript for you. Most of all if you are a student there, they are happy to help you. This is what they love, after all? Think about it, you have to edit and grade papers all day. When your passion is in creative writing, it can be hard. So having the offer to read and edit your book may be a real treat for them. So give that a try. You may have to ask a few professors before one agrees, but odds are one of them will be willing to read it for free.
  2. Writer’s Circles – Writers should always have a friend or two of like minded writers, either online or in person. Having those friends to exchange work with is helpful, free, and gets your work edited by talented writers who are like you. So that is a good one to try as well.
  3. cartoon-business-man-02Ask everyday people – No, don’t ask your mom or sister. Don’t ask family, they will sugar coat it or just not read it at all. Ask maybe a co-worker you don’t know well who likes your genre. Maybe the guy you see on the bus every day. That is good because they won’t be ‘nit picky’ over simple things – Like the oxford comma.  But they will notice what your casual reader will see. So that helps you make sure that it is simple and clean enough for your every day reader.
  4. Websites – There are a lot of websites that are a bit like word and google’s spellcheck, but more advanced. They are more likely to catch the ‘you’re’ vs ‘your’ that others who are sucked into the story may not notice. You also will get corrections on things like readability level. I will later post a article about that, but for now, know it’s a score done mathematically to tell them the reader level by grade and their points system. That can be helpful, telling you your story is understandable. The lower the score, most of the time the better. Hemingway had the average score of a 2nd to 3rd grader. Great writers often are low on the score. That also may prove helpful. Here are a few links for some of these sites I’ve tried.

I’ve done all four of these for my book. As well as COUNTLESS self-edits. So keep at it, find all the tools you can. Also remember, no book is perfect. Harry Potter has comma splices (I’ll show you if you really want), and even Steven King has one messed up word slip onto the presses now and then. So don’t stress so much that it has to be perfect that you NEVER publish. If you can afford it and are that scare, just go ahead and hire a pro so you feel confidant.

Hope these were helpful for you. I know they’ve helped me. Soon you’ll be able to judge for yourselves if these ideas work when my book is published later this year. Meanwhile, give them a try. What do you have to lose? For sure, not your wallet