Often times I am asked by authors what the editing process is like. How does one complete a book and then proceed to edit it for publication?

Self-Publishing is not…

Self Publishing your book does not mean doing it all yourself. What is does mean is researching and hiring the right person for the job. The same goes for editing. You do not want to publish your book without first making sure you have hired an editor.

Editing Your Book Yourself

You can and should take your book as far as you can through various stages of editing. It will save you time and money if you polish your book as much as possible prior to handing it off to an editor. In my writing, I write my first draft, second and third before sending it for beta reading. I then work through the beta reader feedback (fourth draft) before sending it off to an editor.

Once my editor has provided me with feedback, I take a deep breath and get to work on the fifth draft. Finally, it is off for a proofread (sixth draft), before it is published. Some authors will also put their book through a copyedit, but that is one round that I skip.

Editing Guidance

I picked up a great book on editing that helped me see my writing through a different lens. I made sticky notes with key points from each chapter and then referred to them as I went through my editing process. It is definitely a resource that I would recommend to anyone who needs to learn how to edit and improve their writing

The book is called Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print (Click Here to Buy). It covers everything from showing vs telling, pacing, and dialogue. Not only does it provide examples, it also is an easy to follow guide that doesn’t talk down to you. It is a supportive reference that will help you build your confidence.

How Do I Find An Editor?

Self-publishing can be overwhelming, especially when there are many different editors out there and each has their own price range. I would recommend finding editors that provide you with the opportunity to submit sample pages. Send them to a couple of different editors, preferably to editors to specialize in your genre. Once you get their pages back, review their feedback, see what they caught, get a sense for their style and personality. You don’t want someone who is going to tell you what you want to hear. Your mission is to find someone who will help you improve your manuscript. Only you know the kind of person you would work best with, but don’t look for an editor who will tell you everything is perfect. You are hiring someone to find flaws, plot holes, and issues that will take your reader away from the story. Find an editor who will point those out.

I could keep going…

There is so much to say about the process of editing and going through feedback, but I will stop here. This was just meant to get you started. Remember that editing takes time. Don’t rush it. You are polishing your manuscript and each stage of revising brings you one step closer to publishing.

Good luck!

 

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