Along with fiction books, nonfiction books are quite significant to the literary scene in every country. By nonfiction, we mean books that contain facts and reports about true events. These non-fiction books usually are history books or books about biographies and journalism and critical essays etc. Generally, it is considered that non-fiction books have to maintain a higher standard of quality in terms of editing than fiction books. This is because non-fiction books are mostly read for academic reasons and important reasons other than leisure. 

There are primarily two types of editing that are associated with nonfiction books one of them is self-editing wherein the author themselves try editing it as good as they can. And the other way of editing professional editing with the help of a professional editor from a reputed publisher. This is usually the case with traditionally published books.


The best way to edit your nonfiction book is to do it yourself and that is through self-editing. There are reasons why we say this is the best way. You as the author are the best person to edit your book because no one can surpass the knowledge that you have in your book. This also means that you will better understand the nuances and the flow of the text than any other writer or editor. 

However, if you are a new author and you do not know the exact punctuation and syntax and other crucial things that are required in editing a nonfiction book then it is best to get the help of a professional editor to professionally edit your book. 


Here are a few mistakes to avoid and a few steps that will allow you to self-edit your nonfiction book without the need for a content editor or professional editor. 


This is probably one of the most important steps in editing a book and irrespective of whether the book is a fiction or non-fiction book or any other type of book. Correcting grammatical errors is the basic first step in the editing process. Editing the grammar to perfection is important because without proper grammar the readers will have a very bad impression of the book and understand that if the book is not edited with sincerity then the book must have been written without sincerity. For this, you can take the help of various grammar assistance tools such as Grammarly or even Microsoft Word’s grammar checker to correct the basic grammar mistakes. However, these are software and it is always a good idea to have a second look through a human eye to double-check and find out the mistakes. 


Syntax is often missed out during editing and syntax is one of the most important elements of your book because unlike grammar which may seem wrong at the first glance it is difficult to spot syntax errors. The syntax is basically the structure of your book’s body wherein the subjects and objects must be in the proper order else you will sound like Yoda, which might be useful if you’re writing a fiction book but it is a bad idea in a non-fiction book. A nonfiction book must have Immaculate syntax because this book will probably be used by students or people who are trying to understand a certain subject. Therefore you must try to avoid certain things such as vague references and any missing subjects.


Punctuation error is probably one of the most common types of mistakes that authors do and we understand that because authors have a lot of things going on in their minds and punctuation is the least of their worries. But having incorrect punctuation is like having soup with a fork, it will make the whole experience bad no matter how good the soup or fork is. This is probably done best by a professional editor but you can also try correcting punctuation errors such as finding out where you are missing out on commas and also omitting the extra commas that you have put. Punctuation can also include removing various ‘ands’ and using a full stop instead.


Using capital letters is quite important in a non-fiction book wherein you must always capitalise certain things such as all the basic capitalization like names of people and places and organizations. Along with that, you must also capitalise various historical things as well as the names of dates and months and the titles given to various people as well as short forms and initials and product names as well as the names of institutions and agencies and months and holidays. Along with all this and much more, you must also make sure that the first letter of every sentence is in the capital. We understand this is quite a basic mistake but humans make mistakes and often this is the case too.


Using proper hyphens is also important when you are writing a nonfiction book because preferred hyphens make and break the meaning of certain words. For example, if you were to write ‘one-stop-shop’, you need proper hyphens in between them, else writing ’one stop stop’ without hyphens, the sentence will not make the same sense as with hyphens.

Having looked at the following steps that you as the author can use in self-editing your book, we can now look at the steps that are followed by professional editors in their professional editing process. 

  • 1st STEP – Probably one of the most important steps is the step of the developmental editing wherein the editors will have a thorough look around the overall structure of the book and find out if the book is making sense.
  • 2ND STEP – This step is often called the content editing process wherein content editors will have a look at the content of your book and ensure that proper structure is maintained such as the proper separation of paragraphs and also saying that sentences are not too long show that your idea in the book is conveyed well. 
  • 3RD STEP – This stage is called the copy-editing process wherein copy editors will make sure of everything from syntax spelling punctuation capitalization, hyphens and grammatical errors.
  • 4TH STEP – This step is called the proofreading step wherein proofreaders will have a final look at the manuscript after all the editors have made their edits and will find out if anything has been missed and if it has then this manuscript will again go through the same steps. 

This was the nonfiction book editing guide brought to by us at Orange Publishers. If you are a self-published author who simply doesn’t have the time to self edit their manuscript or has self-edited and has found more errors and is willing to have a professional look at it then we have a few of the best and most experienced non-fiction book editors in our company and along with that, we will also make sure that you are provided with the best illustrators and book cover designers as we take care of all the steps in the book publishing process from pre-publishing to printing and publishing as well as the legal side such as copywriting. We also do book promotions and also create promotional material so that we have our esteemed authors covered in all directions because we are the best book publishing company in India.

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