The most eye-opening aspect for first-time writers is the amount of editing involved in a single book. After you’ve written the first draft, you put it aside and when you are ready, you’ll start working on the second draft. After a few changes, often, new authors feel that they have a polished book, ready to be published.
More often than not, this is not the case.
No matter the author, serious editing is required prior to publishing. If you are looking to go the traditional route, make sure your manuscript is in the best shape possible. Don’t expect your agent or another editor to do all the heavy lifting. Without a doubt, your manuscript will go through an editing process once you have signed with an agent, but they don’t want something with several issues already.
If you are self-publishing – then you should go through several rounds of self-editing, and hire someone for line editing, and/or developmental editing, and/or copy editing. After this process, you will need to find some beta readers and make sure your concept is well understood, which includes flow, plotting, and pace.
The entire process of editing can be streamlined the more books you publish. However, a word of caution – often the largest mistakes a self-published author makes have to do with cover art and editing. Your book will be compared to those with significant resources in editing. You need to find a group to work with that suites your need and budget. This doesn’t mean you need to find the most expensive editor out there, but you need to do your research.
The Editing process is different for everyone.
First and foremost…find what works for you. Skipping the editing process works for almost no one, but otherwise, find a process that suits your skills and the skills of those you know or are willing to work with.
Often family works for beta readers and not for editors…but someone in your family might be a professional editor, so maybe that works for you.
Not every self-published author does all types of editing. Maybe you use a program like Grammarly – professional. This will help in a lot of cases – but this program and others like it are far from perfect.
It takes time and several published books to find what works for you…but don’t skimp out on this part.
Equally important to understand is that no book is perfect.
A downside of editing is that you never actually publish. You are always worried about someone else reading your project that you spend years and years editing the same work. You find a small mistake here and there or more than that, it is a style to writing that you change. Most books have a few errors, even spelling.
Individuals can develop a complex with this issue. They become compulsive and this can be a danger in the creative process. Sooner or later, you will have to let go, and publish your work. If you are self-published and your readers find some small errors, those can be fixed and your book resubmitted.
In the end, make a good product, write a good book, get it edited, find a good cover artist, and allow your book to get published.