Once more down that editing road

Thank you all for wishing me well on my indie-publishing venture. This being my blog, you’ll be subject to reading about my failures and successes as I learn how to turn a manuscript into a real, honest to goodness book. I’ll try not to bore you with too many details, and I’ll ramble about other things too, of course.

My first step toward publishing my novel is to read and edit—again.  Again.  I confess I expected to have an agent’s input before this book went to an editor. Now, it will be just me. One more time through, and then I’ll pass it to my editor. After I make the changes she suggests, I’ll learn how to format the manuscript for the print and various e-reader versions. (Easy to say; harder to do.)

I think—but you never know—my closest focus on this edit round will be my first chapter. You may remember that after I wrote, edited, revised, pampered, primped, and polished my manuscript, I demoted the original first chapter, and wrote a new opening. The new Chapter One is good, but I’m concerned I left it in foster child status.

In the two and a half years I’ve worked on this book, I’ve had much good advice on what to cut, add, and revise from my critique partners. Now, I will be taking full responsibility. The power is exhilarating, but sobering. I can’t blame anyone else if the type, or layout, or book cover is a failure. Those are minor worries though.

The big worry is that I’m responsible for the story. It’s a story I love. I’ve told it as well as I could. While it’s still in my possession, I can dream about how many others will love it. Once I publish …

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29 thoughts on “Once more down that editing road

  1. I know exactly what you mean … it’s both empowering and frightening to have it all in your hands.

    Good luck with your edits, and as I read recently, once you’re just “moving the furniture around”, then it’s time to declare it done.


    1. First chapter might get some redecorating, but I’m aware of my tendency for perfectionism, so the rest of the book is probably pretty safe. But I’m on the lookout for those dastardly typos! 😉 Do you think threatening them will work?


  2. aS lonng as it ain,t lookin lick thes and sownden like this, yull due just find. 😉 (Sorry I couldn’t help myself.)

    I’m sure your edits will be limited to a few of those rogue typos. You know, I heard reading the entire manuscript backwards helps you find the typos. Personally, I’ve never tried it.


    1. I’ve heard that too, DS, but I’m not sure what they mean. It don’t think it means literally backwards word by word. Wouldn’t that sound like nonsense and make every word seem like a typo? I mean, sure you’d find misspellings, but Word underlines those in red anyway. Am I missing the obvious? 😕


      1. I think they mean to read the sentence forward, but the chapter backward. If I understood what I read correctly, the practice is a sentence level editing technique. One used to root out the homophones and missing words (as you are reading each sentence out of context.

        After reading a manuscript several times, you tend to develop a memory of the text and flow. This method erases that memory. Like I said, I have not tried it yet and only considered it as a theory. HOWEVER, if it works, this method would function in much the same way as setting the manuscript aside for a year, which I do. The possibility of cutting a year off my edits is something I’ll consider for my next round of editing.


        1. That’s what I thought, DS. I tried it, but it annoyed me. I think I’m doing all right reading it straight forward this time. I’ve found a couple omitted words, no typos … yet. But I found a few places where I needed to add a line or two and I wouldn’t have found that by reading backwards. So it’s good.

          I can’t imagine putting a work aside for a year. But if you’re strong-willed enough to do it and it works for you, YAY! 🙂


  3. I believe strongly in the power of intuition.

    As I read this post, my gut told me (by remaining calm and peaceful) that your words WILL BE LOVED.

    My gut did NOT tell me what kind of $’s we’re talking about. 🙂

    Good luck and share ALL the details since many of us will be wandering down this road ourselves.

    Thanks, Linda.


  4. Good luck! I’m glad you have an editor. That can make all the difference in the world. So can your cover, which is an entirely new ballgame from the content. If you need help with the e-formatting, let me know. It can be a real pain. 😦


    1. Thanks, Michelle. I’m trying not to even think about the e-formatting just yet. I’m dreading it. And I have several cover ideas floating around my head. I go to sleep every night hoping I’ll dream the perfect cover.

      Btw, my editor is a mutual friend. 🙂


  5. Jump, Linda, jump! You’ll do fine. I look forward to your book.
    As far as ebook formatting, there is an excellent formatting guide at Smashwords (you probably know about it). It really isn’t difficult and at Amazon and Smashwords you can preview the book before you publish it. And–and that’s the big advantage with ebooks–you can always upload a new version when you see something you don’t like.
    Good luck!


    1. Thanks, Christa. I’m still feeling optimistic. 🙂

      Yes, I’ve been told about the guides, and I have a book by Zoe Winters, too. And Cathryn is letting me learn from her mistakes. 😀

      Maybe you know the answer to this. If someone has already purchased a version of your ebook, and then you upload a revised one, does the customer get the revision?


  6. I tried that with my own book, but they only let you reload the version you already bought. The readers would probably have to buy the new version.
    I wouldn’t worry too much though. It really sounds as if you had your book edited thoroughly. There may be some minor things that you discover later. I had my novel edited several times and once by a professional editor and I still found a couple of minor blunders. Most readers, however, didn’t even see them.
    Even books edited by traditional publishers have the occasional spelling mistake. A book is never totally finished and you just have to draw the line somewhere.
    (My 2 cents). Christa


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