Do you need a little professional guidance so you can edit your book more efficiently in order to get it ready for publication? If you can’t afford a human editor, getting a few good editing books can mean the difference between having a good novel and having a great novel. Here are my top 5 picks for fiction editing books.



1. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers



Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is my top pick for numerous reasons. First, it’s easy to read and understand with no nonsense, and it’s written in a language and format that is easy to understand. It also contains great examples of good and bad writing, especially when it pertains to writing dialogue, which some writers can find extremely difficult due to the need to get the character’s ‘voice’ correct. This book does exactly what it says. It helps authors self-edit their novels by explaining in detail with examples showing Vs telling, characterization and exposition, point of view, proportion, dialogue mechanics, developing and writing internal monologue and making the book sound more sophisticated (cleaning it up).


2. The First Five Pages



The First Five Pages is specifically written to help you clean up the front of your books, specifically the first 5 pages of your manuscript. The thinking here is that most agents and publishers ask for the first 5 pages as part of your initial submission package. If there first few pages are awesome, you’ll have a better chance of receiving a request for your full manuscript. Of course, the principles that you use to clean up the front of your book can also help you edit and perfect your entire manuscript. This is a great companion to Self-Editing for Fiction Writers.


3. Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript

Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript is great for learning how to write query letters, outlines and synopsis as well as how to format chapters and create submission packages. There is information for popular genres, fiction, non-fiction, children’s books and scripts. This is really a go-to essential for anyone who intends to submit their work to agents or publishers.


4. The Sell Your Novel Toolkit

The Sell Your Novel Toolkit contains information on how to write and format query letters and synopsis for fiction novels, but it also takes this information to the next level by helping you understand how to break into the book market and get your book sold. There's even a litle bit of information on how to market your book for maximum sales. As an added bonus, this book also gives you common tips and tricks on how to vet any potential agent you might hire and recognize red flags in agents so that you can avoid them.


5. The Complete Idiots Guide to Getting Published



The Complete Idiots Guide to Getting Published isn’t just for idiots! To spite its bold and slightly offensive name, this book does provide valuable insight and advice on how to get published. It teaches you the ins and outs of how to write a query letter and why they are needed. It helps you understand the pros and cons of getting an agent and what to expect while submitting your book to agents and publishers. Not to mention, you’ll also learn about book lifecycles and how to maintain and progress your author career.



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