So one of the most interesting aspects of writing a book comes down to editing. Unless you’re writing a 200 word ficlet that you’re going to post somewhere and never worry about again, you should honestly get someone to give you honest feedback on it.
But sometimes that doesn’t exist. I am lucky to have a network of friends that I can send something to and get honest feedback from. Right now, the very first book I wrote, back in November 2013, is sitting with my cowriter Lisa. She’s someone I can bounce ideas off of, but also someone who can take a sentence that I write and turn it into something beautiful. She’s good that way.
My fiction book, however, is a work solely of my own. But not having someone that I know there to edit it for me (Lisa is still working on the travel book, which we hope to have out by this Summer) was quite a daunting thought. Luckily someone turned me on to the GoodReads.com website, of which I was already a member, and pointed me out to the “Betas And Editing” section. I found a professional editor, who did a massive job of not only content and scene editing and suggestions, but line editing as well. (If you’re interested, her name is Debbie, and you can find her at DebbieEdits.com)
Now I’ve done my work backwards. I sent my book off to an editor, but also off to a publishing house. The publishing house really liked it, but asked for changes to be made; not huge, but ones that would consider a few major rewrites of some sections. I’ll take Debbie’s professionally edited copy with her suggested changes (the ones I agree with, of course; you don’t have to agree 100% with your editor), and then start the rewrite again. Then it’ll be back for final edits and then resubmission.
Ideally, I’ve been told through a Reddit post on the /r/writing subreddit, you shouldn’t have to hire an editor yourself unless you plan on self publishing. At the time I finished with Migration, I was pretty convinced that I was going to publish the book myself, like we will with the travel book. But now that I know there is interest from a publisher, I’ve probably gone a little overboard – but that’s okay. I’d rather get the experience, than not.