How many of you dread editing your book? You have put in the hard work to write your book, making it the best it can be, and now you have to edit it!
I know editing is my least favorite thing to do when it comes time to writing a book. In fact, I am procrastinating right now on editing because I don’t want to edit my book! It almost feels like a slap in the face because I did the hardest thing already – the writing – and now I have to go back through and edit it?!
But here’s the deal – if you don’t want to hire out and need to do it yourself (because it’s in the budget), then here are four ways to edit your book from start to finish. I highly recommend you start the editing process before you even begin writing so you’ll have the flow for it now instead of dreading it later.
Mike Nappa, Literary Agent, Editor, and Writer, wrote a great article about how to edit your book in four steps. I’ll be paraphrasing what he wrote, but if you want the original article, click here to read it on Writer’s Digest.
The Close-In Writing
This is the most basic method, which Nappa also calls the “close-in writing.” It’s where you spend a few minutes editing whatever you wrote the day before. If I am writing my book, then the next time I come to write, I will spend time editing the portion I wrote the day before. Nappa calls this your first draft because you’re editing as you’re writing your book.
The Close-In Edit
After you’re done with your book and have edited it along the way, then you go back and from beginning to end, edit your book on your computer. He calls this the “close-in edit” and it becomes your second draft.
The Distance Edit
After you’re done with your first and second draft, Nappa suggests you print out your book and go back through and edit it on hard copy, “scrawling notes and profanities to yourself all the way through the margins.”
Here is my professional suggestion when it comes to this part: make sure your manuscript is double space so when you’re rewriting pieces or scratching things out, you have room above the portion you wish to edit to make the necessary adjustments.
After you are done scrawling notes in the margins and above the edited portions, go back to your computer and type it all in. This is your third draft and the “distance edit”.
The Oral Edit
The last draft is here! It’s called the “oral edit” because guess what? This time, you’ll print out your manuscript again and proceed to read it out loud to “the walls, to your spouse, to the patrons at Starbucks, to your dog, to the bowl of soggy Cocoa Puffs left over from breakfast. Doesn’t matter who’s in the room, only that you can hear yourself reading it.” Go from word one to the very end.
I did this for my book and it really helped me see where things didn’t make sense or I wasn’t communicating exactly what I was wanting to say. This is a very important piece because when you read out loud, there’s a different flow and you notice things that you don’t when you’re reading silently. Once again, make sure your manuscript is double-spaced to make any changes. Then go back to your computer and put in the changes.
Nappa says this after your final draft, “At this point, you will be: a) extremely sick of your book, but b) finished.”
Now you’re ready to publish your book either through CreateSpace, an independent publisher or traditional house publisher! Over the next few weeks, I am going to talk about the various ways of publishing so you can gain a clear idea of which route you want to take.
Next week, I am starting a Brand **NEW** Facebook Live series called The Write Week, where every day I’m going on LIVE to talk about writing your book and the strategies I used to write two books in 90 days or less! This is more for those of you who are writing your business book because these tips and tricks can be valuable as you work your business and write your book! I’ll come on Live every day (May 1-5. 2017) at noon MST to chat to you about different topics to get you rolling on your book today!
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