I haven’t published yet, but you can be sure I’ve researched the process over and over again. This past weekend I went to a panel at the Indianapolis Comic Convention for more writing tips. Nothing new was said, but it did at least verify what I already knew.
For some of the best material on editing, I’d recommend going to your local library and checking out the latest copy of Writer’s Market. The book is great for self-publishing and traditional. It also has a fantastic section on trusted publishers and agents. There are several useful query letter templates and so on.
If a quick list is more of what you’re after, then this is the place! I’ve done most of these steps myself and intend to finish up with those I haven’t done. To be fair, I’ve also done a few extra rounds of editing not listed in the list below.
Photo by fotografierende
Pre-Novel Completion Steps
- Write a chapter
- Edit a chapter
- Complete steps 1-2 until book is finished
Post-Novel Completion Steps
- Edit completed novel (look for inconsistencies in plot, characters, and other details)
- Edit again (this time looking for inconsistencies and grammatical errors)
- Edit until you feel it’s as polished as it can be (or you’re sick of it)
- Send to editor for Developmental Edit - or Line Edit and/or Proofread if Developmental Edit is not desired
- Edit again
- Send to editor for Line Edit and/or Proofread (if this is already done, skip to step 7)
- Edit again
- Send book to beta or test readers
- Final edit (if needed / desired)
- Copyright the novel (your book is legally copyrighted as soon as it is written, but this scales up your legal rights and protects your writing to the fullest extent). Learn more of the steps to this process here.
- Research the market for your novel’s genre (can technically be done sooner)
- Find amazing artist for Cover Art in your novel’s genre (the cover sells the book in most cases)
- Format for print, e-book, different sites or book sizes, etc. (these will likely all look different)
- Publish book
- Promote book (research best ways to market in your specific genre)
- Still have a story in your head? Do it all over again! But with the new story.
That’s really about it. I’m currently on my second to last edit and will soon be sending my MS (manuscript) off to test readers. Fingers crossed I don’t have too many errors! The odds are good my first book will be published before the end of this year. Yay!
Next week I’ll be switching back to a post about a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, as a paladin had a very bad day. Then the following week I’ll be back with more writing tips. Stay tuned for some exciting news!