3 Great Ways to Use FIND Before You Submit Your Manuscript

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.— Samuel Johnson

by geralt
by geralt

First, consider these two cautions in using the find and replace feature of your word processor for editing:

  1. Look at each occurrence from the search results to make sure a change works. Automatic replacing can cause problems. For example, consider the paragraph: “He sat next to her. In his grief, he was beside himself.” If you perform a find on next to and replace all with beside, you’ll have: “He sat beside her. In his grief, he was beside himself.”
  1. Replace in moderation. If the change works, do it. Your aim is to reduce repetitions and weak words and phrases, not eradicate certain words.

3 Ways to Use FIND on Your Polished Manuscript


  1. Peruse novels or keep an eye out for well-written phrases. When you find better or more concise phrases, search for a key word that’ll lead you to your ho-hum or wordy phrase and replace the ones that need a change.
by Pescador
by Pescador


If you mention a steering wheel often while characters drive, search on “steering wheel” and try a phrase like the following I found:

Before: He turned the steering wheel and left Main Street…

After: He turned off Main… 

  1. Check counts. If you use an individual word (other than expected high-frequency words, such as the, he, a character’s name) in an 80,000-word novel over 200 times you should work on reducing them. Once, I used up 417 times. I cut the occurrences significantly. Check the words mentioned in 3. below. Using some of these over 25 times may be too often.

To obtain a count:

  • PC = option + f and enter the word
  • Mac = command + f and enter word
  • Scrivener (get a count on every word in your manuscript) =
    • Select desired scenes
    • Click on Editor screen
    • Click on Project, Text Statistics, and Word Frequency
    • Click on desired column to sort

Screenshot 2015-07-14 11.41.59

  1. Search for these words or characters.
  • Your favorite word. In one manuscript, mine was while.
  • Exclamation marks. Use these for shouting in dialogue and thoughts. Your choice of words should show excitement.
  • Ellipses (…)
  • Filler words like uh or um.
  • by HebiFot
    by HebiFot
    Weasel words such as just, very, and some. Here’s an excellent post on words, phrases, and characters to search for: Editing Your Own Writing on Darcy Andries’s website. This is a must read. It covers:
    • Unnecessary and Redundant Words
    • Weak Words:
      • Dull Drab Diluters
      • Filtering
      • Colorless Verbs
      • Modifiers

Before sending your manuscript to a publisher, use FIND and search for these. Click to tweet.

What is the word, phrase, or character you have grossly overused in your manuscript?

A Quick Guide: The Type of Edit You Need for Your Novel

There’s never been a text written that didn’t need editing.” —David Kudler

by WorkinghamLibraries
by WorkinghamLibraries

You’ve finished your manuscript. Wonderful. It needs to be edited. Below are four kinds of edits and what each most commonly accomplishes.

Ask prospective editors what they include in their edits. Some will combine editing types. Others will perform edits beyond their type when they see problems. Editors love books and want to help authors produce the best novel.

Developmental Edit

(Other terms: substantive edit, comprehensive edit, macro edit)

by DarkSinistar
by DarkSinistar

Developmental editors work with the author. They address high-level structural issues. They may address:

  • Plot, plot holes, subplots, and scope of story
  • Characterization, character arc, character believability, point of view problems
  • Voice, tone, style, and tension
  • Pacing, amount of backstory, and sagging middles
  • Lack of conflict, too much telling, information dumps, areas of confusion, inconsistencies,
  • Scene goals and whether a particular scene is necessary
  • Setting
  • Research

Line Edit

by PatternPictures
by PatternPictures

Line editors are concerned with readability, clarity, fluidity, writing style, and language use. They review the manuscript line by line and paragraph by paragraph. While preserving the author’s voice, they point out problems or make changes (through a “track changes” feature). They may:

  • Reorder, delete, add, or rewrite sentences, paragraphs, scenes, and chapters
  • Improve paragraph and sentence flow, smooth out awkward or wordy sentences, and change run-on sentences
  • Improve word choices, catch clichés and generalizations, enhance weak transitions, adjust pacing, and eliminate repetition
  • Tighten sentences, paragraphs, and dialogue
  • Point out inconsistent character behavior, confusing actions, passive voice, over-used words, too flowery writing, overuse of adverbs, and shifts in tone
  • Ensure language fits the author’s audience and dialogue is believable and consistent


Copy Edit

by PublicDomainPictures
by PublicDomainPictures

Copy editors perform technical work on manuscripts that are close to their final form. They make sure the details are correct. They’re concerned that the writing conforms to a style, such as the Chicago Manual of Style. They may do the following:



  • Correct errors in spelling, syntax, punctuation, and grammar
  • Ensure consistency in style throughout manuscript, e.g. in numerals, spelling (OK or okay), and capitalization
  • Point out nonfactual assertions, inconsistencies in character traits, and implausible statements
  • Look for possible problems with the use of brand names
  • Ensure proper manuscript format


by geralt
by geralt

Proofreaders make the last technical check of the novel. This is where the galley proof or electronic copy come in. Proofreaders may do the following:

  • Search for typos
  • Look for mistakes in spelling, punctuation, spacing, pagination, capitalization, use of numerals, and verb tense
  • Ensure earlier changes were made correctly

The order in which edits should be performed:

Developmental Edit ⇒ Line Edit ⇒ Copy Edit ⇒ Proofreading


Often, authors themselves, critique partners, and beta readers can perform Copy and Proofreading tasks. Critique partners and beta readers may also help with some Line editing.

So, authors with limited funds may need to put their money first into Developmental editing and then into Line editing.

Novelists need editing. Here are lists of tasks each type of edit performs. Click to tweet.

What are other tasks your editors perform?

Secrets to Creating a Successful Box Set—Inside and Out


Please welcome my guest, Marion Ueckermann, experienced in the ins and outs of box sets and one of the authors in the successful book set, SPLASH!. Be sure to learn more about SPLASH! and Marion’s novella, Orphaned Hearts, at the end of her post.

Box sets are a win/win for all:


  • Increased visibility — authors gain access to each other’s readers and social media circles.
  • Amazon’s bestseller lists — they rank well here, thereby ensuring continued reach (all contributing authors of SPLASH! are now ranking on Amazon’s Top 100 Authors in Religion & Spirituality, and have even all been in the top 40).
  • Readers get several books for next-to-nothing.
  • Authors make money — even with splitting the 35% royalty per copy sold, because enough readers take a chance.
  • Workload is shared.
  • Authors make great new friendships with each other, and new readers.

So how do you pull off publishing a great box set? First, there are important decisions to be made:

  • Prior to commencement

    • Genre?
    • Story length?
    • Brand-new titles or previously published titles?
    • How many titles in the set?
    • Theme?
    • Pricing? (Your goals for the box set will determine your price.)
    • Distribution—Amazon exclusive (Kindle Direct Publishing Select program), or other retailers, too?
    • Dates:
      • Pre-order?
      • Release?
      • Release of individual titles (if never before published titles)?
    • by geralt
      by geralt
      • Submission of ready-to-publish manuscripts?
      • Submission of individual covers?
  • During production

    • Choice of box set title and artwork
    • Financials:
      • Cover art costs
      • Advertising costs
      • Up-front payment or deductions from earnings?
      • Distribution of earnings to authors—an outside party to handle for a fee, or someone in the group?
  • After release

    • When to unpublish?

Then there’s the matter of front and back matter (and other matter). Each member needs the following information included in their submitted title (manuscript prepared for uploading):

  • Book description (long blurb)
  • Author bio
  • Author photo
  • Links to other published books
  • Copyright
  • ISBN information (if previously published)
  • Acknowledgements
  • Dedications
  • Cover art

They will also require a short blurb for marketing purposes.

Here are a few pointers to what a successful box set needs:

by ClkeFreeVectorImage
by ClkeFreeVectorImage

1.  Great Leader: Someone must lead the pack. For me, this is the No. 1 priority—having a leader who is:

• Knowledgeable.

• Preferably experienced in indie box sets.

• Has a mentor mindset.

SPLASH! is blessed with a knowledgeable and organized leader who has guided the authors through the planning, publishing and marketing waters, providing relevant information to ensure deadlines were met.

2.  Great Authors:

  • Choose authors whose writing you, or other authors in the set, know.
  • Choose authors who write in the same genre as the set.
  • Great authors bring five star reviews.

3.  Great Discipline:

  • Dedication to the project.
  • Disciplined to meet deadlines.
  • Committed to participate.
by geralt
by geralt

4.  Great Teamwork in:

  • Checking the final box set file, ensuring links work and scanning for minor errors or formatting issues to finalize the manuscript prior to Amazon pre-order deadline.
  • Marketing the box set in social media circles through blog posts, tweets, Facebook postings, obtaining reviewers, etc.
  • Brainstorming together.
  • Encouraging one another.

5.  Great Communication:

  • You’ll need a place to interact—create a closed Facebook group.
  • Keep conversations to relevant threads.
  • Save all documents and artwork to the Facebook group folders—deadline checklists, submission guidelines, covers, memes, etc. 
by geralt
by geralt

6.  Great Title:

  • A theme makes it easier to decide on a title.
  • Ensure your title’s a good fit, will hook readers and offer great marketing possibilities.
  • The title will direct cover art choice.

7.  Great Cover Art:

  • Hire a professional cover artist—it doesn’t need to cost a fortune and will be worth the money spent.
  • Group members to give input and agree on:
    • Designer
    • Stock photos
    • Style
    • Content

(Cover art for individual novellas are the authors’ responsibility)

  • Don’t finalize the box set’s cover art until the final manuscript submission deadline has passed—life happens…authors drop out.

8.  Great Marketing:

  • Release at an appropriate time—SPLASH! is a collection of water-themed summer reads, so released the beginning of summer.
  • Place advertising timeously—SPLASH! avoided advertising running into autumn.
  • Create fun memes for the box set, as well as individual novellas, and use extensively in social media to create awareness.
  • Have a fun Facebook party on release day.

Interested in writing for box sets? Here’s what you need to know—inside and out. Click to tweet.

WARNING: Box sets are FUN and highly addictive!

I was privileged to be part of a box set collection, SPLASH!, which released June 23rd . With the following Amazon.com rankings, I can say this set has been very successful:

  • #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Religious & Inspirational Fiction > Christian > Collections & Anthologies
  • #1 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Literature & Fiction > Collections & Anthologies
  • #2 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Literature & Fiction > Romance > Contemporary

We’ve seen similar top rankings for SPLASH! with Amazon UK, Australia and Canada.

Orphaned Hearts FinalWill his past, or her future, keep their hearts orphaned?

When his wife dies in childbirth, Zambian conservationist Simon Hartley pours his life into raising his daughter and his orphan elephants. He has no time, or desire, to fall in love again. Or so he thinks.

Wanting to escape English society and postpone an arranged marriage, Lady Abigail Chadwick heads to Africa for a year to teach the children of the Good Shepherd Orphanage. Upon her arrival she is left stranded at Livingstone airport…until a reluctant Simon comes to her rescue.

Now only fears born of his loss, and secrets of the life she’s tried to leave behind, can stonewall their romance, budding in the heart of Africa.


Purchase links:


Barnes & Noble





Other Titles by Marion Ueckermann

Passport to Romance

Helsinki Sunrise (2014)

Oslo Overtures (2015)

Glasgow Grace (2016)

I’d love to interact with readers at any of the following places:

WEBSITE       http://marionueckermann.com/

FACEBOOK  https://www.facebook.com/Marion.C.Ueckermann

AMAZON     http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KBYLU7C

GOOGLE+     https://plus.google.com/+MarionUeckermannAuthor/

TWITTER      https://twitter.com/ueckie

PINTEREST   https://www.pinterest.com/ueckie/

Follow the tour tomorrow:

Friday 17th ~ Friday Weekend Escape to Zambia

@ http://narelleatkins.wordpress.com/


Marion Ueckermann1 - SMALLERMarion Ueckermann’s passion for writing was sparked in 2001 when she moved to Ireland with her husband and two sons. Since then she has published devotional articles and stories in Winners, The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven.

Marion loves writing Contemporary Inspirational Romances set in novel places and has three Passport to Romance novellas published and contracted through White Rose Publishing, a Pelican Book Group imprint: her debut novella, Helsinki Sunrise; Oslo Overtures (August 2015); and Glasgow Grace (2016).

She lives in Pretoria East, South Africa in an empty nest with her husband and their crazy black Scottie, Wally.