Congrats!! You’ve decided to write a book.
Once you’ve made this decision the work of writing your book might seem daunting. You might not know where to turn to understand the process of writing, the type of book you want to write, the word count required, and the dozens of other things you need to learn. You purchase a bunch of books, followed some authors, and spent hours on Twitter, tick-tock, or somewhere else.
But…now that you’ve preserved, and tried something hard, and have written the book you’ve always dreamed about – what next?. The work and process were probably a lot harder than you imagined. You feel accomplished in doing something special.
The next step is Editing!
This process is one of the most fundamental and often overlooked parts of traditional publishing and self-publishing. It is one of its most important. There are dozens of different YouTube messages, podcasts, and websites that can help you find a good route to do.
After you’ve taken the time to write something, you might convince yourself that someone else should read it…and as soon as possible. I’ve spoken with so many other authors and most of us hope that we’ve written something special. We WANT someone to love our work as much as we do. I would strongly advise you to hit the breaks a little and remember that this is only the 1st draft that you’ve finished.
There is this crazy feeling of wanting your work visible. If you are looking at traditional publishing you might be tempted to send your work to an agent. Again….hit the breaks.
It is really vital that you start working on the editing process. But that doesn’t mean that the next step is paying for an editor.
Should you edit your own work?
Yes!! There are many processes to self-editing your work, but essentially you are fixing the major problems, looking for plot holes, pacing, and continuity. There are many different ways that this can be done.
It may take several rounds of editing to get things to a place where your story flows and feels better.
The next step is a Professional Editor.
Should you pay someone to edit your work?
You are blind to your own work. No matter how many times you read through your work, you are too close to the story. You need someone (not your family or friends) who has the ability to look at your work and can make the necessary changes. Cutting pages, characters, and chapter will be hard, but it is often best for your work.
What types of editing are there?
There is an argument of 3 or 5 different types of editing.
Those who believe in five different types of editing are typically professional editors. But in reality is hard to pay someone to do all five. Some editors are capable of doing all five but that might be too much to handle. The 5 types of editing are below.
1.) Developmental, substantive, or content editing
2.) Structural editing
3.) Copy editing
4.) Line editing
5.) Mechanical editing
The three editing types are common and are often what you will find on the websites of those who edit for self-published books. They are as follows.
1.) Developmental editing
This type of editing takes into account the big picture of your written content and considers how all of the smaller details that comprise that big picture work together.
2.) Copy editing
This type of editing is related to developmental and line editing that drills down into the more technical aspects of putting words together. Copyediting takes into account grammar, punctuation and spelling, and pays particular attention to consistency across content, often adhering to a specific style guide.
3.) Line editing
What happens if you skip Editing?
As with everything, you will find bestsellers who choose to do things differently.
But, most books that do well need some level of editing – even the higher end if you are a newer writer. As you get some of your work edited, you will see your common mistakes and might need less editing. Professional editing is highly recommended.