Hello everyone. I was just wondering, for all you authors out there, how many times did you go back and edit your manuscripts before you published them? How many people did you ask to read it? Did you get it professionally edited or not? Just trying to get some ideas and opinions. Thanks!
I personally edited my book around 4 times before I published it. I quite like the editing process as opposed to the first draft as I have something to work with. I think it depends on the author. When you get to the point where you know you're happy to show it to others then that's generally when it's ready. But you have to be honest with yourself and be your worst critic.
I had 5 people read the book and received honest feedbacks. You have to give it to people who are going to be honest and say what they really think. All the best :)
Every time a read it I found something to polish until finally after a point I just said enough (a couple of dozen times). It was a good thing because it gave me pause to remember things to add that developed into new chapters (I wrote a memoir). I have some close friends it, some family, some acquaintances that were English majors and my IP attorney was my final editor. Then I read it again and still found somethings to add and found a gremlin or two. I had found in the past that sometimes editors want to change words that can literally change the meaning and you come out in a worse light. Should an editor read my book (self-published e-book) for a hardcover version, I would not want their changes to be the last word unless I approved.
I write a manuscript making it the best I can as I go along. Then I edit until I am so sick of editing that I could puke at the very thought...then I edit again. After that I send the manuscript to my publisher then their editors get ahold of it. It's a somewhat humbling experience actually.
Edited 3 times before I sent it off. Then got a revise and resubmit from publisher number 1. It was still rejected. Then I got an offer from publisher two and was revised one more time. So total of 5. I had a critiique group read it, but I did the revisions myself.
I edit and re-edit constantly. When I get to a certain point in the book, and the plot isn't moving forward the way I want it to, I'll go back to the very beginning and tweak what isn't working. I also hire an editor after I've finished the entire manuscript. Then, after the editor is finished, I re-re-edit the book. I am very fussy, lol.
It can depend. It basically is as many times it takes until it feels right for publication. Even then it may mean that after submiting it to a publisher you re-edit again if they request it.
You're going to get ten different answers from ten different people. Every writer is different. Rex Stout wrote once and didn't go back. Others may read their story sixty times. A generally accepted opinion is that you can read it over a few times making corrections, then put it aside for a month. Then go bak over it with 'fresh' eyes. Critique groups are marvelous for catching errors. If you want to go the professional route, that is also an option. Right now I have two people editing my next book as long as I agree to edit theirs.
I actually rewrote my newest book, "Molly Toothaker and the Secret of Fall River," around 12 times or so. It's 101,000 words so it took awhile but my agent was adament about it. I also had it professionally edited twice. I'm actually glad I did. After rewrite and then edit, I re-read it and found changes that I had to make. After that, I had it edited again, then I re-read it once again until I was satisfied. My agent has it now. Jennifer, as I'm sure you know, it's a long process sometimes...lol
Thank you all for your input! I have finished my first draft, one round of self editing and another round after my hubby read it. I'm getting ready to send it out to a couple more friends to read and edit it for me - giving suggestions. I know it's a long process, but it's nice to hear from others what their experiences have been. Thanks!!
Many people suggest that you read the manuscript to yourself out loud while you are editing. This is supposed to help you find things that you missed on the page but you read in your head. A good tip that I got from my friend author Stephen Poleskie is to "change the typeface and font." Now this only works if you are using a computer so you can see why no one did it back in the days of typewriters. You will be surprised how different the manuscript becomes when you do this, especially if you put it in an extra large font. Obviously,the amount of times one edits a book varies greatly. Unfortunately, I find too many books today that seem as if no one ever edited the manuscript, or even proof read it, and many of these are from major publishers.
Good luck with your work. The most important thing is that you enjoy doing it, and don't give up until you are satisfied.
It took me a while to write Camp Letters: 1942 - 1945. I was doing a lot of research and transcribing handwritten material. I kept several revisions in 3-ring binders. Once I had a reasonable copy, I sent it to FedexOffice and had it bound in a spiral. I marked that one up and filled it with yellow stickies, as I did with the subsequent first proof. My wife read through that proof. She also read my second proof. Even after I went to print and made a Kindle edition, I think there are a few pages I should have put in. Maybe I will make some minor changes for the Nook ebook in a few months. I found out that that the Kindle table of contents has a bug, but I don't have the patience to revise that one. I'm kind of sick at looking at the book. That's how I know I'm done.