Putting the final touches on a book manuscript requires one of the most challenging aspects on being an author – setting your ego on the shelf.

For as many hours as you spend, as much sweat equity as you invest, as careful as you try to be, you’re just too close to the project to look at it objectively. Spellcheck helps catch many minor miscues, but it’s not perfect and certainly does nothing in terms of checking the overall flow of your manuscript. You need an editor, and a good one.

That’s where a competent editor is worth their weight in gold. For my first book project, Bodyguard to the Packers, we contracted with an agency editor who did nothing but add mistakes to the manuscript. Unfortunately, we were up against a tight publishing deadline and I never got the opportunity to look through his suggestions before it went to press. It’s still an enjoyable read, but the editing was a disaster.

For my current project, a true crime book called Torture at the Back Forty, we contracted with a friend from my newspaper days to do the editing. The experience was 100 times better. We interacted, we shared ideas, and I had the opportunity to discuss suggested changes before they became written in stone.

I feel more confident the manuscript is solid this time around, and I don’t have to wonder what the final version will look like. I’ve seen it, and it’s a great read. True crime fans will love this story, which was featured during the first season of America’s Most Wanted back in 1988.

Release date is August 7, 2009, and it’s available for pre-order. Enjoy!
Posted by Mike on May 19, 2009 at 8:41 AM under