Anyone who writes knows how difficult it is to proof-read and edit your own work – especially if it is substantial. Yet many writers are unwilling to pay for proper editing.

A case in point was a manuscript I was recently given to turn into an e-book for uploading to Amazon. I was told by the author that editing was not required, as it had already gone to a professional editor. Imagine my shock when the manuscript – 50,000 words and some 200 pages – duly arrived. On reading the text I was left wondering what the ‘professional editor’ had done for their money. It needed a re-edit.

The subject of the book was an outback adventure that took place in the 1950s and the diary of that adventure had been turned into a book – and a very interesting book since it dealt with an Australia that had long passed into history. It was a story worth telling.

Now the processes of writing and editing are very different and sadly, in this electronic age, many writers can spin a good yarn but when it comes to word processing their skills are often rudimentary. The experience of re-editing this book before I could consider turning it into a e-book made me consider the need to develop a ‘checklist’ for writers to which they could refer prior to sending a book for editing. So here goes. The examples here are a few from my recent edit. I am sure this list will grow over time.


This was the topic for discussion at our June meeting and you can read the entire blog post of our discussion here.