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Along with professional editing services, the founder of The Editing Forge recognized the need for products and resources to help authors learn how to effectively self-edit their novels. The reason for this is twofold—to help authors who cannot yet afford professional editing services still produce quality novels and novellas at the start of their writing careers and to help experienced authors submit cleaner manuscripts to their editors to save time and costs during the editing phase. 

But for us, the self-editing process doesn't stop there. It extends into improving your writing craft, developing the best publishing plan, and identifying qualified professionals for your team.

The Editing Forge





The new edition of How to Self-Edit Your Novel release on June 4. It has over 100 additional pages of information plus a forward by John Palisano, horror author and former president of the Horror Writers Association.

It isn't often an editor encourages authors to self-edit their work, and we understand how counter-productive it might initially seem for a professional editor to promote a DIY approach. However, we would argue that there are certain circumstances where self-editing is a necessary aspect of many authors' self-publishing journeys, and we want to be part of making sure these authors successfully produce work capable of meeting genre-specific reader expectations. 

The editing industry is unregulated. This means anyone who has or has not received editing-specific training may establish themselves as an editor and begin to charge clients. And while the untrained service providers often offer extremely low rates when compared to the trained professionals, this sometimes comes at a cost to authors. The results can be a large number of remaining errors, the loss of author voice, and inconsistent style. But when an author is just starting out, the royalties have not been earned, and they're working with a low or nonexistent budget. What other choice do they have?

We wanted to change the answer to that question.


The Editing Forge has compiled a great deal of editing instruction in How to Self-Edit Your Novel, but we've only brushed the surface. It simply isn't possible for a book like this—or for self-editing itself—to be as thorough as a professional editor would be. But we do believe authors can maintain the quality of reader experiences with something we call guided self-editing across our editing resources and some of our self-editing-focused editing packages.

Here are some of the topics we cover:

  • Maintaining Hook Effectiveness

  • Novel Structure

  • Subplot Integration

  • Adequate and Fluid Story Progression

  • Incorporating Believable Conflict and Stakes

  • Book Maps and How to Read Them

  • Whether to Use a Prologue

  • Identifying Genre Expectations

  • Determining and Maintaining Point of View

  • How to Avoid Head-Hopping

  • Establishing Pacing

  • Using Consistent Tense

  • Enriching Your Character Development

  • Incorporating Character History

  • Avoiding Telling Versus Showing

  • Creating Style Sheets

  • Adequate or Too Many Details

  • Identifying Telegraphing and What to Use Instead

  • Punctuation Guides

  • Editing Checklists

  • Blurb Assistance

  • ...and so much more!

While this editing resource is not a replacement for the services of a professional editor, it's already been used by authors to improve the quality of their novels and encourage their author careers. 


And what better way to ensure each of the editing concepts presented in How to Self-Edit Your Novel is clear and easy to incorporate than an accompanying workbook! Practice the concepts you find more complicated than others or touch up on more familiar topics at your own pace. The How to Self-Edit Your Novel Workbook launches with the new edition of the editing resource on June 4.

Want to know what authors are already saying?

"This was the best most comprehensive editing book I have ever read. I have very little money and no hopes of getting my novels out. But the way she breaks this down, I think I can. She takes the time to add humor, instruction and practice into each lesson. I took notes. I especially loved the chapter on commas. Everyone hates them and everyone needs them. I understood exactly what she was talking about and how to implement it. Great book." - Goodreads Review

"You can tell from the early pages that Lyndsey Smith knows what she's talking about. She's a professional editor after all, but her knowledge and ability span much more broadly. She has an extensive knowledge of the industry standards and the genre's expectations, and she immerses you in this resource with the sole aim to have you bring your novel to the next level. All by yourself." - Goodreads Review

"This book is fantastic to teach you what you need to know for editing your work! I’ve been using it as a study guide for my editing class!" - Amazon Review

"Reading this book has given me a great deal of insightful information about how to tackle self edits and even just how to take a look at drafts before they are handed over to others. I feel like reading this book has improved my writing and constructive reading so much, and I would definitely recommend to any writers." - Amazon Review

"I primarily bought this for myself, as an aspiring writer, but I also teach a high school creative writing elective. While I have a MA in Literature and a BSEd in Secondary-Education English, most of my studies were grounded in heavy research and analysis. Grammar is not my strong suit. I just applied several helpful things from this book to a short-story I recently wrote and wanted to submit for an open-call. I had already checked for glaring issues, but this book gave me things to look for I hadn't considered (for instance, eliminating 'that' and 'as' and restructuring sentences around those changes...which led to over a hundred eliminations/restructures using JUST that step). I believe this book will help the clarity of my own writing but also give me ideas I can pass on to my writing students. The book is also heftier than expected!" - Amazon Review


A professional-level editing resource for the career-focused author. No matter your publishing goals, How to Self-Edit Your Novel will help you improve your writing and your reader impressions. 



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At The Editing Forge, we love planners! Just like holding a paperback in your hands enriches the reading experience, having a planner at your fingertips to flip through and use to visualize the trajectory of your goals really puts things into perspective, boosts you to stop procrastinating, and pushes you further toward what we hope you will accomplish in your writing career. 

This planner will help you develop your publishing schedule for the next year—daily word counts, release dates, and deadlines. It also has specific sections for new novel idea development, initial character brainstorming, social media marketing planning, podcast schedules, blog idea listings, and self-care reminders. Plus, find helpful editing and writing craft tips and words of inspiration on each page. 

The preorder for Plotting Your Year goes live on June 10. It will be available with normal paperback binding on Amazon and spiral-bound through our direct store. 



An editing-focused undated writing planner for the career-focused author. No matter your publishing goals, Plotting Your Year will help you improve the efficiency and productivity of your writing year. 

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Having a good, professional editor changes the game, and Horrorsmith Editing is a game changer.


E. L. Giles


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