Congrats! You've dug down deep and through a lot of time and hard work, you've written a book. That is no easy task. Cheers to you! Like for real!
As you’re sipping on your celebratory coffee or champagne, maybe you’re starting to worry about what you’re going to do with all those words that spilled out of your soul and onto the page . . . what's next? You’re happy with what you have, but you aren’t sure if it’s any good. Maybe you’ve had a friend or family member take a look at it already. Maybe you aren’t sure you want to. I get it. Family and friends are great for support, but they don’t always know what is going to sell or what makes a story truly compelling.
Well, that's where I come in. And I’ve got good news - you’ve got some options.
So please start by taking a deep breath. Pour yourself another glass, and know that it’s all going to be okay.
There are two great next steps that you can take to get your book to where it needs to be.
Take a look . . .
A developmental edit is when an editor gets into the real nitty-gritty details of your book. Does the plot make sense? Is it effective? Are there any discrepancies in the characters’ personalities and overall goals? Are they likable? Should there be any tweaking of the placement of chapters, details, and scenes? Your editor will make notes on all these things throughout your story, talking with you about any questions you may have and brainstorming with you about how to fix any issues. Then, you’ll have the chance to make all the changes to ensure that your book is where it needs to be for publication.
With this sort of editing, the grammar and proofreading is ignored. It’s all about the story and big picture.
Once you’re feeling solid about the development of your story, it’s time to polish up your content. This is when an editor corrects misspelled words, sentence structure, inconsistent grammar usage, and does a thorough proofread - so pretty much all the teeny-tiny details that make a book flawless. You don’t have to do much work after receiving your book back from a copy editor. You’ll review the changes and agree or disagree.
After having your book copy edited, you’ll be ready to send out a book proposal or self-publish.
Remember, YOU are the author. Editors are here just to help you make your book the best it can be, but you are still 100% still in charge of your book at this stage of publishing.
If you’re looking for some help with your book, seriously, I’d love to help you out! I know it can feel utterly vulnerable to share your story with the outside world, but starting with an editor is a great first step. I’d be honored to be a part of your writing journey!