I heard back from my editor again this week!
After receiving the first round of feedback a couple weeks ago I went over it and sent it back with the recommended changes/adjustments, and with a few questions of my own. This week I got the reply.
It was strange in a way. I’m fortunate that from the start my manuscript didn’t require any significant revision, just some tweaks here and there. So this time, I was able to go through the feedback in less than an hour, and send it back almost immediately.
So now it’s back to the waiting game. This first pass process was what is called a ‘light structural edit’. It focussed on the story – making sure the pacing was good, character arcs were well developed, the dialogue was smooth, the reader immersion was effective – that sort of thing.
Now that’s finalised, we go into round two – copy editing. The copy edit focusses less on the big picture of the story and more on the words and language – going line by line to make sure grammar is correct, sentences are clear, story continuity is correct. It’s a much closer look at how I have written the story, as opposed to examining the story itself.
I’m pretty darn excited! I originally anticipated the structural edit would take the longest time to go through, thinking I might need to rethink the story, but it was really quite painless. I’m realising it’s very likely going through the copy edit for my 163,000 word manuscript will be far more tedious. But that doesn’t make me any less eager to do it!
However, I’m going to have to wait at least 2-3 weeks minimum before I can. So, what do I do in the meantime? It’s so very easy to procrastinate, but I know there are things I can be doing. So, for anyone else in the editor waiting game, here are some ideas:
Get involved on social media
There is a great community of writers and readers on Instagram. Search #bookstagram or #writersofinstagram or any other book or reading related hashtag and you’ll probably start to find them. The same for Facebook – there are heaps of writing and reading groups you can join that chat through the process of writing, offer mutual support, and the opportunity to chat about your favourite books. And, for some of us, even starting a YouTube channel can be an awesome way to start making connections.
Joining a community related to your genre on social media can be fantastic – you connect with likeminded folk, and grow a bit of a following or audience. Putting yourself out the can make it that much easier for your future readers and fans to find you.
Research reviewers and endorsers
Now is a great time while you’re waiting on your book to try to find people who might be able to review your book. Taking the time to research big book reviewers – whether websites, YouTube channels, Instagram pages etc who might be willing to review your book upon release can help prepare you to ask them when the time is right. This goes for people you might want to ask for a cover quote/endorsement too.
Research agents / publishers / publishing options
If you’re in the process of getting your book edited but are unsure how you want to publish, now is a great time to learn more! Do you want to be traditionally published? Start researching potential agents you can reach out to, or publishing houses you want to go with. Do you want to self publish? Start researching your options for picking a cover designer, getting your title registered and ISBN, how your books will be formatted, printed, sold. There’s also some amazing small publishers, or even hybrid publishers (like mine, Ocean Reeve Publishing) that provide some amazing services. Just be sure when researching publishers to check their legitimacy and validity. Unfortunately there are small companies out there with predatory intent on authors eager for a publisher. Be careful!
Start a website and email list
Regardless of how you publish, it’s a good idea to build a website for yourself. Services like WordPress or Squarespace (or any number of other website building services) can make it very quick and easy. But the point is that a website is a place for readers to find you, and for you to build a presence too – whether with blogs, videos, updates etc. This is also a great place for the sign-up to an email list. An email list is one of the most crucial things you can have as an author. A list of people who want to hear from you and get updates straight from the author? Amazing! Personally I use Mailchimp, but there are plenty of other options. Just make sure you’re following the privacy/information policies, and you’re set.
Start thinking about the next book!
All of the ideas we’ve discussed thus far are very much on the business end of what it is to be an author, but the truth is even in this time of waiting the eagerness to create doesn’t go away. Now is a great time where you can forget about your completed manuscript for a bit, and start dreaming up other ideas and concepts for your next work. Let yourself be free with your creativity and see what you can come up with – and enjoy the process.
Take a break
Writing a book is hard work. It can be exhausting, draining, and emotional. Sometimes, we really do just need a break from it all, and these weeks of waiting can be the perfect opportunity to just switch off a bit and enjoy the other areas of life, so you can come back fresh when your manuscript is back in your hands.
So what do you think? What do you do while waiting for your book to come back from your editor? Would you add anything else to this list?
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