I love to read, but when I begin a new book, the last thing I want is to be jerked out of the story by continuous grammar, spelling or punctuation mistakes. It’s the first sign that perhaps the book may suffer from other issues, like weak plot or character development.
In the past few years, the need for writers to edit our own work has become more crucial than ever before. Online review sites are taking off, and readers love to share what they enjoyed or didn’t enjoy. Many reviews I’ve read get down to the tiniest detail, and if there’s poor editing, then that becomes a major turnoff. We can certainly edit ourselves until we believe we’ve nailed our book, but there’s nothing quite like a second set of eyes.
Many writers join writers’ groups, have critique partners or request a beta reader to give them solid feedback. There’re also some wonderful freelance editors available. Proofreaders and line editors are another great option.
Which brings me to the reason for this post. Last week, a writer friend said to me she’d like to self-publish her first book. She’s tried getting an agent, but rejection letter after rejection letter keeps coming in. She’s in a writers’ group, but they’re all unpublished authors learning and growing together. She asked me what I thought she should do? Wow, as writers, our journey to publication can be quite different. Self-publishing might be the road she takes, although one thing remains the same for all of us. Our books should be soundly edited before publication, no matter which avenue we choose to take. Her future reputation as a writer is at stake if she doesn’t put her very best forward. I certainly understand her frustration of trying to get that first “yes.” It certainly feels like we’re climbing a mountain, dragging our way uphill, and through hail and snow to get there. But it’s so important not to forget that every published author out there, was unpublished at some point. That makes it feel real. Anything is possible.
So, how important is editing to you? Do you have a critique partner, beta readers or someone else? Who helps you ready your manuscript for submission or publication? For me, my second set of eyes before submission is my sister. She isn’t a writer, but an avid reader. She’s great at providing feedback, although if not for her, I’d certainly team up with a CP. Drop me a comment and let me know what works for you.
Lastly, yay, I finally wrapped up book three in my YA fantasy series and began the submission process on it. Now, I’m crossing my fingers and toes and hoping I did everything I could to make it a fabulous read. I can certainly say it’s well-edited. 🙂
Take care, and I’ll catch ya next week.