Some writers love being edited, and others really, really don’t. Once we’re finished with our darling that we think is absolutely perfect as it is, the last thing we want is criticism. Ann Rice refuses to be edited. Other than proofreading, her words are all written exactly as she wants them. Most other writers, famous or otherwise, tend to have their work edited.

Getting your manuscript back with comments all over the place, and your favourite scene completely trashed could very well lead to apoplectic rage or rivers of tears. If so much is wrong then obviously you must be an absolutely rubbish writer and you may just as well give up could be your next thought—the one that comes after writing the rudest, most insultingly literate letter to your editor before hopefully having the good sense to delete it.

The thing to remember is that when it comes to changing your actual story, as an Indie, only you get to decide. You don’t have to take your editor’s suggestions on board if you don’t want to. Typos and grammar, yes, those must be fixed, but at the end of the day the story is only yours, and no editor is going to be cross with you for not agreeing with their suggestions. They’re just trying to help, but their tastes are different to yours, and many other people too. Just because you’ve hired an editor doesn’t mean that you are obligated to change anything at all, so if you’re happy with any parts of your book where changes are suggested, then rather get a second opinion or simply leave it as you like it.

A useful tool to use with Microsoft Word for when you do want input from others on your manuscripts, or vice versa by the way, is to be found in the Review tab. Click on Track Changes.

Track changes in word image.

You can change words, delete or insert.

Deleting in word image.

You can add comments.

add comments in word image

Changes can be approved or rejected.

approve changes in word image