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Online Class: Book Editing 101

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Course Description

Writers are a unique breed. They spend their lives creating things that were, or never have been, and they hope to make enough money so that they can live comfortably while others read their work.

To be a successful writer, one needs to do many things. According to Stephen King, it comes down to reading a lot and writing a lot. However, there is something else that a writer must do to be successful and that is to edit as well. Too many writers choose not to edit, believing that it is something someone else will do for them; but how can you know your book if you do not go through and edit it as well?

When you edit a book, you learn more about your characters, your plot and how they all mesh together. While you edit you may think of a new plot device that will work better for the book, or you may discover that the book would be better suited in a different genre.

Editing turns a good book into a great book, and all the great writers know the power of editing.

In this course you will learn everything you need to know about editing a book. From how much of an edit you need to do, the things that need to be edited and even the tools you should employ to make your edits successful. In addition, you will learn about what you should do before sending your manuscript away for review to raise the chances of successful publication.

Throughout the lessons, tips and quotes from the immortals of literature will show you that editing and even rejection are all part of the journey when you are a successful writer.


  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Instructor Feedback
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

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Course Lessons

9/20/2017 5:04:00 PM

Lesson 1. What Is Editing?

While a book can take three to four months to write, editing can take six months. Editing is about patience, attention to detail and wanting to achieve perfection with whatever one writes. 40 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Essay Editing; 10 Ways to Improve Self-Editing
  • Take Poll: Editing
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 1: What Is Editing?

Lesson 2. Why Should You Edit?

To the biggest question here, why do you need to edit, it comes right down to the fact that you are a human being. As a human being, you are imperfect. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: The Importance of Editing; Commonly Misused Words
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 2: Why Should You Edit?

Lesson 3. The Difference Between Light, Medium, and Heavy Edits

Light editing could be summed up in two words 'spell check', because usually when people do light editing all they do is press F7 on the keyboard and let Microsoft Word do the work for them. 35 Total Points
  • Review 3 Articles: Guide to Grammar and Writing; Writing Resources; Copyediting
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 3: The Difference Between Light, Medium and Heavy Edits

Lesson 4. The Basics of Editing

Editing is basic in many ways and it involves making your story more readable. When people think of editing, they think of spelling and grammar. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Editing Your Book; Editing and Proofreading a Manuscript
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 4: The Basics of Editing

Lesson 5. The Editing Process

In this lesson, we will cover the editing process and will touch on items that will be covered in more depth in later lessons. 34 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: How to Edit a Novel; How to Edit Out Cliches
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 5: The Editing Process

Lesson 6. What Published Authors Say About Editing and Writing

This lesson is all about taking advice from the great authors. They know how to edit, they know when to edit, and they are going to tell you how. 32 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: John Steinbeck's Advice; Kurt Vonnegut's Advice
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 6: What Published Authors Say About Editing and Writing

Lesson 7. What Publishers Want

Each publisher is going to want something different. Some publishers are looking for a clean and crisp manuscript that is free from errors, while others will be more concerned with how the manuscript reads. 35 Total Points
  • Review 3 Articles: 10 Steps to Finding a Publisher; Publishing Tips; Secrets of Book Publishing
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 7: What Publishers Want

Lesson 8. Spell Checking

The spell checker works by comparing words against a dictionary and analyzing the word itself within the sentence. 34 Total Points
  • Review 3 Articles: The Spell Checker Poem; What is a Spell Checker?; Online Dictionary
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 8: Spell Checking

Lesson 9. Stepping Back and Putting the Manuscript Away For a Month

If you talk to any best selling author about editing, the first thing they will tell you is to put the manuscript away once you are done writing it. 35 Total Points
  • Review 3 Articles: Editing Tips; Advice from an Editor and Novelist; Daily Writing Tips
  • Take Poll: Stepping Away
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 9: Stepping Back and Putting the Manuscript Away For a Month

Lesson 10. Common Writing Mistakes Which Editing Fixes

In this lesson, we will go over all the mistakes writers, even the best, make. 34 Total Points
  • Review 3 Articles: 7 Common Mistakes; Mistakes that can make you look dumb.; Common Grammar Mistakes
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 10: Common Writing Mistakes Editing Fixes

Lesson 11. Find-and-Replace as an Editing Tool

Well, the truth is there is a second great tool that is often overlooked by new writers for editing. It is the find-and-replace function in your word processor and it can make your editing much easier. 34 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: 51 Overused Words; Common Writing Mistakes
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 11: Find-Replace as Editing Tool

Lesson 12. Post-It Notes And Highlighters, The Editors Best Friends

In this lesson, you will learn why post-it notes and highlighters are important parts of your editing process. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Editing a Novel; Revising Your Manuscript
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 12: Post-It Notes And Highlighters: The Editors Best Friends

Lesson 13. Why Fresh Eyes Help Your Edit Process

As a writer, you need to be able to give your book to someone else and ask them to read it for you. These people do not need to be editors; in fact it is sometimes best if they are not. 33 Total Points
  • Review 3 Articles: Finding an Editor; Finding Your Own Editor; Editing Checklist
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 13: Why Fresh Eyes Help Your Edit Process

Lesson 14. Copy Editors

A copy editor is a person who works to improve a manuscript by adjusting the formatting, accuracy, and style of the book to make it read better. 35 Total Points
  • Review 3 Articles: What is a Copy Editor?; American Copy Editors Society; How to Find a Copy Editor
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 14: Copy Editors

Lesson 15. The Finished Product

Of course, no book on editing would be complete unless your received a few points about how to send a book off properly to maximize your chances of getting published. 75 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: How to Get Published; What To Do Before You Send Your Manuscript
  • Take Poll: Submitting Your Work
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Lesson 15 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 15: The Finished Product
  • Complete: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
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Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Book Editing 101
Course Number: 7550306
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: Professional Development
CEU Value: 1.4 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with CEU Certification: $75.00

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Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define what is editing.
  • Describe why should you edit.
  • Describe the difference between light, medium, and heavy edits.
  • Describe the basics of editing.
  • Describe the editing process.
  • Describe what published authors say about editing and writing.
  • Know what publishers want.
  • Demonstrate spell checking abilities.
  • Determine stepping back and putting the manuscript away for a month.
  • Describe common writing mistakes which editing fixes.
  • Demonstrate find-and-replace as an editing tool.
  • Know post-it notes and highlighters to help in the editing process.
  • Describe why fresh eyes help your edit process, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Student Testimonials

  • "I felt the course was well organized. Instructor was knowledgeable and graded assignments and exams promptly." -- Linda B.
  • "The instructor was great! I always enjoyed receiving feedback from her." -- Nicole N.
  • "Every lesson was helpful. The instructor was a pleasure to work with." -- Cynthia S.

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