When I started writing my latest book, I hired ten different types of editors to read the first five chapters and give me feedback. I wanted to know if the book was good enough to continue writing it, because I didn’t want to waste my time if it wasn’t. I’m not sure if other writers do that sort of thing, but I do. To be honest, all but one loved the five chapters and wanted to read more. Even the one who didn’t “love” it, wanted to read it when it was finished. I received valuable feedback and used that information to make the manuscript that much better. I enjoyed knowing that my story made them laugh as well.
When I was done writing and revamping the story, it was time to start the first round of editing, which was looking at the structure of the book as a whole. Many things were deleted and other areas were in need of rewriting and more description. It took me several months to finish my “homework”. The next step of editing involved line-editing. And now it’s currently in the final stages of copyediting. The next and final editing stage will be the proofreading.
Editors are great at what they do and they see things differently. They push writers and help them make the book, the best it can be. The editor I’m currently working with, has been with this book since the early stages of editing. He has edited for publishers and even a famous comedy writer. I won’t name any names, but I’m honored to be able to work with such a great editor.
I’ve always self-published and fully intended on doing the same with the book, too. When I hire an editor, I don’t go into details about my writing or what I’ve written, because generally they don’t need to know that information. But during the second stage of editing, my editor encouraged me to try the traditional route of publishing with this book.
He asked me tons of questions about my writing, what books I’ve published, sales figures and so on. After I answered all of his questions he said, “I’ve edited over 1,000 manuscripts for publishers and authors, and never once encouraged a writer to start advertising and approaching publishers at such an early stage. You really don’t know what you have here, do you?” I replied, “Yes, I do.”
This book is inspired by true events and the more I research genres, I believe it falls into realistic fiction. It could easily be considered a memoir or a collection of essays (stories) put into story format. Although, I don’t give people’s names or describe them and I’ve adjusted a few things for literary purposes. I suppose it could actually be a work of fiction. If an agent/publisher picks this book up, I’ll let them decide.
One of the first editors to read the first five chapters gave me some great advice. He mentioned that each chapter was go, go, go and I had to keep that pace up throughout the book. But the last chapter was going to have to be as good, if not better, than the first. I understood what he was saying. So I saved the best story for last and ended the book by wrapping up something that kept the story moving forward. He wanted to know the ending of the book, when I finally finished it and I had his phone number, so one afternoon I called him, while he was driving. He wanted me to read the ending to him, which was three and a half pages. So, I did. He laughed so hard, he had to pull over and said that it was the perfect ending and he couldn’t wait to read the rest.
Before the end of that phone call, he had encouraged me to do the audiobook. I mentioned this information in my previous post along with a test audio. Although, I won’t be doing any audio recording until the spring. I’ve temporarily lost my voice and I sound like a cat trying to talk with laryngitis. Actually, I sound worse than that, lol.
Long story short, editors don’t just edit manuscripts. The really great ones will encourage you, help you grow as a writer and guide you in the right direction. They don’t have to, but some of them do. I’ve worked with some wonderful editors who are strictly business, because they don’t have time for anything else and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you find an editor who does both, you’ve found the pot-of-gold at the end of the rainbow.
I’ve recently started sending out queries to a few agents and it’s not as easy as it sounds. I have to research agents and find out what they want. My query and writing need to capture their interest. Fingers crossed, one of them requests a partial or a full, but it could take time, because they get flooded with queries. If one of them call me, I hope my raspy voice doesn’t scare them off.
The crazy things that happen in this book are balanced out by the funny moments.
A few people told me to expect a lot of golf balls in the mail, after this book gets published. To be honest, I think I should sign golf balls and give them away as part of my swag. What do golf balls have to do with running a car lot? I hate to say it, but (cough, cough)… you’ll have to read the book to find out.