Professional editors are so expensive (and worth every penny). I like to deliver as clean and rich a manuscript as possible, so I get more for my money.
That's why I use electronic editing software. ProWritingAid is my favorite and I also use MasterWriter for finding synonyms, word families, and alliterations. (See the Consumer’s Guide for reviews of these and many other free and paid electronic editing apps. Grammarly and AutoCrit also get high marks.)
These tools do much more work than the built-in spelling and grammar checkers in your word processing program. They alert you to overuse of adverbs, clichés, redundancies, overlong sentences, sticky sentences, glue words, vague and abstract words, diction, and misuse of dialog tags, to name just a few. Some of these tools will even connect you to a human editor with a click of a button.
I also want to point out Fictionary, a relatively new tool for fiction authors. It actually plots your narrative arch, characters, and a lot more. I have no idea how they do it but I tested it with my creative nonfiction book (memoir) and it was enlightening, to say the least. If you're writing fiction, I recommend you check it out.
Electronic editing apps are great for first-pass and last-pass editing to clean up mistakes in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. I love that they even follow me around the web to make sure I’m not making errors in my social media posts, blog, and other places online.
When you clean up your manuscript before handing it over to a human editor, you get a lot more for your money.
Check out the electronic editors in the Consumer’s Guide. Try out the free versions of ProWritingAid and MasterWriter and any of the other editors you feel attracted to.
This is the end of the module. The next module is about ISBNs and barcodes. Own your own!