Self-Edit Tips






Anita’s check list for

self-editing your manuscript.

  • Bear or bare?  Hear or  Here?  Put your ms. through Spell Check before submitting it to an editor or agent, but Don't rely on Spell Check to catch errors!


  • Where, when, why?  Track your story on a Chronology Chart to create a smooth timeline and eliminate redundancies.


  • Who's talking?  Clarify each character's point of view for proper pronoun use.

       Put dialogue in proper form, using commas and quotation marks correctly!


  •  Put characters' thoughts in Italics, not quotes.


  •      How long is too long?  Cut, combine, and eliminate words you do not need.


  •  Where's the punch?  Write in Active Voice, instead of Passive Voice whenever possible.


  •    Do not rush through major scenes. 


  •    Avoid missed opportunities for creating dramatic scenes that will  propel the story forward.


Self-editing your book before turning it over to a professional shows how much you care about your work, the story, and your readers.  

Dream it!

Write it!

Sell it!



With twenty-five years in the publishing industry, I understand the challenges authors face.  I will review your manuscript for spelling errors, consistent style, grammar, tone, and factual accuracy to ensure a well written book. I'd love to be a part of your journey to publication.  For info on my editorial services click on the Editorial Services Page of this website.          


    For a personal consultation,  E-mail:  


Sending a Sample?  Be sure to include the following in your email :



     Title of your book

       Author's name, contact phone #, website url


Word count

Page count - double spaced, 12 point font

Publication objectives


Important Note:

Before submitting your manuscript please go through it carefully to prepare it for the editorial review. Do not send a first draft or a rough draft.  Your manuscript should be as polished as you can make it.

1. Add a title page to the manuscript that contains, title of the work, author’s name, contact info for the author, and word count.  Please clear out any visible track changes and comments from previous edits.

2. Use both Spell Check and Grammar Check  on your document to search for errors before you submit the document. There should be very few misspelled words in a manuscript.  


3. Double spacing between sentences is standard.  However, many authors choose to single space.  Please standardize the spacing throughout the manuscript.  I will not alter your spacing.


4.  Review all dialogue to make sure it is in the proper format. Here is an example:

“May I come in?  I see you are busy,” Betty asked, looking around her manager’s office. 

          “Sure, have a seat.  How can I help you today?” Jim replied, rising to his feet.


5.  Put characters’ thoughts  in italics, not quotes. 

Example: This is a beautiful place, Tina thought.  


6. Put the titles of books, songs, movies, videos, magazine, etc., in italics, not quotation marks.   

          Example:  She was reading  The New York Times


7.  Format chapter and page breaks to make them consistent.