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.*
My current editing process
Write the book
Edit the book
Edit the book again
Remember I loved writing the book. Edit.
Dang this book is funny! Change a word.
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.
This book is stupid and I’m never showing it to anyone again.
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.
Research editors and agents. I’m scared now. Edit. Keep waiting.
Why do I think I can send this out when I’ve never sent anything out before? Research professional picture book critiques.
Edit again. I think I changed that sentence last time, but it’s still not working.
I wonder if those agents are still accepting manuscripts? Better check. Nope. Oh well, more edits.
Send manuscript to a friend. She likes it. Suggest a few edits. Done-zo.
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.
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.
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.
Check in with my accountability partner and confirm that I still haven’t re-edited the book.
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?
Revise one more time. Write query letter. Send to five agents.
They still haven’t responded.
They still haven’t responded.
It’s 500 words. Just read it and LMK, OK?
First rejection. Well, at least I know.
Another rejection, just when I almost forgot I was waiting.
Research another agent (edit again) and send.
Crickets. Should I keep editing?
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.
The agents aren’t even responding. I need more feedback. Sign up for picture book workshop.
Picture book workshop is canceled. I’m doomed and this will never work out.
Sign up for a new picture book workshop.
Read manuscript at first workshop. Receive amazing feedback. Need to edit more.
*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.