127: Give yourself the gift of editing this Christmas!


Congratulations, you made it through your book, you now have something in your hands. You’ve worked for months on end and you finally have that finished manuscript. You excitedly print out your hard work, place it before you on the desk and wonder, now what do I do?

In today’s episode, I talk about the next phase of your writing journey. All your hard work has finally paid off and now your book needs to be rewarded. It’s time to talk about editing.

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By the time NaNoWriMo ended, I had written nearly 81,000 words. My book was complete. Before November ended I even tightened up and edited a short children’s book. With both manuscripts printed the editing phase began.

How does one go about editing their work and tightening up their prose? I want to give you 5 things you can do before publishing your book.

1. Let the book sit. So many people want to publish their work without editing. I recently finished reading my newest manuscript and I’d be embarrassed to publish the book without any editing. It’s rife with mistakes.

The worst thing you can do is sit down and begin editing. Let the book sit a few weeks before tackling the editing. This will ensure you enough time away to think clearly when you look at page 1. Trust me, you’ll freak out at the mistakes and the drive to make it sing will keep you focused.

2. Print out your book, and begin self-editing. I used to edit my work on the computer. The problem with using just your computer, your mind cannot focus effectively. Every book I write, I print out and work away from computer distractions.

Look for overused adverbs, prepositional phrases, and confusing sentences and eliminate the majority of each. Tighten up your prose and take care of any inconsistencies you find in your manuscript. Once that’s done, type your corrections and the beauty, you’ll find more as you type. In a sense, you’re doing nearly two edits in one swoop. Then, rinse and repeat.

3. Use beta readers. I love using beta readers. I give my manuscript in its raw form to several beta readers in order to gain a reader’s perspective on my book. They’ll find inconsistencies better than I would.

Use family, friends, and people you trust to give you criticism and positive feedback to help me make the best possible story.

4. Give your book to a professional editor. The worst decision you could ever make is stopping with beta readers and publishing. You could, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that. Hiring a professional editor will help your story look and read like a professional book.

If I were to encourage you on spending money toward your book, editing and book design are the investments you should make. Expect to spend around 2¢ word on editing, but it is totally worth every cent spent.

5. Give your book to a street team to read, comment, and review your book. This is one area I have failed in the release of my first two books. I didn’t use people to read my books before I published. The result, very little traction. Now, with the release of the paperback version of my second book, I’m utilizing a street team to evangelize the book for me.

With their help, I’ll be able to encourage reviews on Amazon, get people to buy my book and help me sell more books. That’s the name of the game, give your book in hopes that people will buy your books.

If you follow this advice, you’ll have a manuscript you’ll be proud of and be able to sell alongside your favorite authors.

Also, MERRY CHRISTMAS from my family to yours!


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