My last post was on editing, and I asserted that self-published authors need to edit their books as much as people trying to go the traditional publishing route. I see so many people rushing this process. So to show that I am walking the walk, I thought I’d share my current editing process.*


edit your children's book

My current editing process

Day 1:            

Write the book   

Day 2:             

Edit the book  

Day 3:             

Edit the book again  

Day 17:             

Remember I loved writing the book. Edit.    

Day 31:             

Dang this book is funny! Change a word.    

Day 45:           

Does this book even make sense? Am I changing point of view in the middle? Ask my husband. He thinks it’s fine. Rearrange 2 sentences.    

Day 59:             

This book is stupid and I’m never showing it to anyone again.    

Day 64:             

I think this book is ready to be sent out. I can’t think of another thing to change. I’m going to wait for a while.    

Day 78:             

Research editors and agents. I’m scared now. Edit. Keep waiting.    

Day 92:             

Why do I think I can send this out when I’ve never sent anything out before? Research professional picture book critiques.    

Day 104:           

Edit again. I think I changed that sentence last time, but it’s still not working.    

Day 118:         

 I wonder if those agents are still accepting manuscripts? Better check. Nope. Oh well, more edits.  

Day 148:           

Send manuscript to a friend. She likes it. Suggest a few edits. Done-zo.    

Day 178:           

Decide I really need an outside opinion. Send the book out for critique. Hands are shaking even though no one can see me. Hope the Internet accidentally swallows the draft.    

Day 187:           

The critique-er said she would get the book back to me in a week and I still haven’t heard. It’s probably so terrible that she won’t even respond.    

Day 188:           

Check spam filter. There it is! Oh God, do I even want to open it? Open it. She likes it! Yes! She laughed where I meant to be funny! Wait, she is so wrong about that sentence. It is hilarious. What does she mean she doesn’t “get” that part? It’s, like, the whole part of the whole thing. It’s the only thing. This story is ruined.    

Day 210:           

Check in with my accountability partner and confirm that I still haven’t re-edited the book.    

Day 224:           

FINE. I’ll read the critique again. She is so right. Why is she right? Why couldn’t I see it before? Spend a couple hours revising. Feel a breakthrough coming on. Whoa that feedback was amazing. Why didn’t I show the draft to someone sooner?    

Day 225:           

Revise one more time. Write query letter. Send to five agents.    

Day 226:           

They still haven’t responded.    

Day 227:           

They still haven’t responded.    

Day 228:           

It’s 500 words. Just read it and LMK, OK?    

Day 255:           

First rejection. Well, at least I know.    

Day 275:           

Another rejection, just when I almost forgot I was waiting.    

Day 276:           

Research another agent (edit again) and send.    

Day 290:           

Crickets. Should I keep editing?    

Day 300:           

I only sent it to six agents. I know there’s almost no chance of being picked up by one of the first six agents. Still. So much silence.    

Day 310:           


Day 330:           

The agents aren’t even responding. I need more feedback. Sign up for picture book workshop.    

Day 340:           

Picture book workshop is canceled. I’m doomed and this will never work out.    

Day 341:           

Sign up for a new picture book workshop.    

Day 355:           

Read manuscript at first workshop. Receive amazing feedback. Need to edit more.    

Day 379:           


*I made all these days up, but this is still extremely accurate.  

**I’m still editing.

To see all the posts in this series, START HERE.

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