Time (well spent) Is Money (not spent at all!)

First, full disclosure. I downloaded this item from somewhere a while back and failed to index it to its true source. Hence, no credit for the original creator – but if you are he/she, or if you know him/her, please inform me immediately so I can add proper credit for the material – but it’s so good I couldn’t resist publishing it here as soon as it popped up in one of my periodic tours through my directories of downloaded information for authors, writers, speakers and self-publishers. Now . . .

Want to save money and time when using a professional editor (which every author should do) or before you send a manuscript to an agent or publisher?

Then before you ever submit a manuscript or chapter, use this checklist as a guide to cleaning up your material as best you can. A few minutes spent spent developing answers to each of the following questions can not only save you from being condemned to the slush pile at an agent or publisher office, but if you do these things as you go along in developing your manuscript, you’ll not only save editorial money and cut your time to market substantially, the exercise will almost certainly cure many of your bad habits (yes, we all have ‘em!) and improve your writing style to a degree that may surprise you.

It will certainly speed up the editorial process, and this can result in significant savings

The links included in the question below refer you to guides provided by About.com that will help you understand and implement the changes that will improve your work both now and in the future.

  1. Is each sentence clear and complete?
  2. Can any short, choppy sentences be improved by combining them?
  3. Can any long, awkward sentences be improved by breaking them down into shorter units and/or recombining them?
  4. Can any wordy sentences be made more concise?
  5. Can any run-on sentences be more effectively coordinated or subordinated?
  6. Does each verb agree with its subject?
  7. Are all verb forms correct and consistent?
  8. Do pronouns refer clearly to the appropriate nouns?
  9. Do all modifying words and phrases refer clearly to the words they are intended to modify?
  10. Is each word in the essay appropriate and effective?
  11. Is each word spelled correctly?
  12. Is the punctuation correct?

Twelve questions; a million answers. Happy hunting!

This entry was posted in Articles by Paul McNeese. Bookmark the permalink.

About Paul McNeese

Paul McNeese, BS, CFP (Ret.), is an author and an author services provider who runs his own company, OPA Author Services, through which he coordinates literary creative services and book production logistics for authors, aspiring authors, public speakers, and entrepreneurs who wish to bring their knowledge and expertise to the public through the power of words. His first book, Salespower through Successful Seminars (1984) isout of print because it is dated and much of the material in it is obsolete, but he has begun work on another book, Betterchange: 12 Keys to Personal and Professional Growth, which will see publication in mid-2013. He has also recently completed a CD set based on the newest version of his “Betterchange” seminar, which he will soon begin offering in the Phoenix area, mainly through churches and other spiritual organizations. Personally, Paul has more than 40 years of experience in educating and motivating individuals and groups as a broadcaster, seminar leader, author, publisher and speaker. An honors graduate of Northeastern University in Boston, Paul earned simultaneous undergraduate degrees in marketing and music and has done graduate work in psychology, economics and public policy at UCLA. A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) for many years (1982 – 1993), he is a graduate of the College for Financial Planning in Denver. In pursuit of other interests over the years, he also completed a two-year associate degree curriculum in counseling at Cypress College in Los Angeles and an advanced management program in not-for-profit financial management at California State University, Fullerton. Formerly a member of the now defunct Arizona Book Publishers Association and currently a member of many other literary organizations, he most enjoys working with authors and imaginative content producers, editing good writing, designing and supervising the design of book interiors and covers, and assembling and directing creative teams that take books from concept to cash register. Although he does not engage in services directly related to the marketing of books, he has assembled a consortium of experts in the many disciplines required for successful book marketing, publicity and promotion, and he adheres strongly to the conviction that the best – and most necessary – marketing ingredient (beyond the literary quality of the book itself) is the author!

Leave a Reply