Are You Ready To Use Self-Publishing Services?
~ By Roz Morris
In the second article in her self-publishing series for Writers & Artists, writer, editor & blogger Roz Moris gives her advice on editing your manuscript - and how you can tell whether your novel is ready to be published.
You've finished your novel. Doesn't that feel good? It certainly should - and no doubt you're eager to get it out into the world. But despite the months - or possibly years - you've spent writing it, you might not be ready to begin the self-publishing process just yet.
To get much better value out of the experts you hire and to ensure your book is ready for the giant leaps, follow these tips.
Don't submit a first draft
One of the biggest mistakes new writers make is to try to publish a first draft. In the writing world, one of our mantras is: 'writing is rewriting'. And although you can hire editors, they only come in after the writer has done a lot of fine-tuning. Rarely do writers get their novels perfect on the first draft. It's not unusual to go through a manuscript 10 times, honing it to perfection.
Does that seem shocking? Many novice writers find this surprising. But if you asked almost any bestselling author for a peek at their first draft, they would chase you away with a pitchfork.
To quote another maxim: 'easy reading is damned hard writing'. There is so much to get right in a novel manuscript that first drafts must be rough. Even if they have been written to a plan, they are explorations. They are the first time the writer has spent a sustained length of time with their characters and world, and experienced the story scene by scene. In more complex novels, the writer is discovering the soul of the book as they write, and later chapters become far more focused as they realise what this is. Many of us describe this as 'guided dreaming'.
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