Are you one of those poor souls slogging through editing? Sit down, and let me share a tale that might sound all too familiar. Have you noticed editing is like signing up for a marathon, only to find yourself navigating steep mountain-range terrain, followed by a swamp filled with grammar goblins and punctuation pitfalls. Trust me, nobody mentions this part when you’re just about to start planning, or basking in the glow of typing “The End.”
Picture me, tiresome final-draft manuscript in hand, a storm of emotions brewing inside. It feels like your Scrooge meeting the three ghosts of editing – developmental, copyediting, and proofreading – each revealing a hauntingly different aspect of your book that needed urgent attention. After you learned how to do it.
People say editing is where your book blossoms, but for me, it felt like being trapped in a ghoulish endurance reality show.
Instead of basking in the joy of creation, I found myself haunted by the relentless task ahead.
Trying to rush through editing? It’s like trying to run in a swimming pool. I’d have to stop so my eye for detail freshened and my mojo returned. I’d take breaks so long, I wondered if I should switch careers because it would be quicker. And the ghosts of every bit of teacher red pen? They were having a field day, mocking every attempt I made to piece together something that hopefully was good enough to go on Amazon.
Editing became a bizarre, relentless nightmare.
Change a sentence. Change it again. Change it all back to what it was before. It felt like I was doing the hokey-cokey with my words. In out. In out. Argh! Those dreaded angry one-star Amazon reviews, warning of readers of books “riddled with errors,” haunted me. Was this going to be my book’s fate?
Then there’s the world of social media. You need to generate some buzz because you know books don’t sell themselves. You share a snippet of your upcoming book, and suddenly, you’re in the lion’s den of grammar pedants. Every misplaced their, they’re, or there becomes a target. “I hope you check your book more than your Facebook posts. Don’t you care?” they wail.
Then you start thinking you’ll use an editing tool – those fickle fair-weather friends. Use two grammar tools and they’ll bicker. Sentences too short? Stop being ‘choppy’. Too long? You’re suddenly the next Tolstoy, minus the acclaim. As a few people, and you slump back to square one faster than a counter landing on a long snake.
Through all this editing hell, my once-beloved book dream began to feel even more like a burdensome chore.
By the time I reached the launch, I was less a proud author and more an exhausted pigeon, barely crawling across the finish line. Post-launch, I found myself supposed to be hustling for podcast spots, a task that left me feeling deflated and invisible. The mere thought of scanning my book for engaging snippets to turn into social media graphics was nauseating – I couldn’t bear the thought of trudging through those wretched pages again. And checking Amazon for reviews? That was a heart-pounding risk I wasn’t ready to take. The thought of confronting a keyboard warrior sniping at me from the sidelines was too much.
But here’s the thing – editing, this daunting beast, is actually where your book finds its soul. You can’t avoid it.
I’ve waded through these murky waters many times, emerging with not just a finished book, but a trove of insights. I;ve helped 33 business book authors get over the editorial line. (My side-gig fiction books have sold over 200,000 copies and had 20 million page reads.) I’ve had to find a way to get through this and I want to share it with you. Everyone. (I know you shouldn’t say everyone in your marketing, but I am yet to meet an author who has not trudged through editing.)
I’ve distilled the easier way through this journey into my editing checklist, not just a series of steps, but a map through the dense jungle of revision and refinement to create that book worthy of your name. And if you’re up for it, let’s chat about where you’re at…
Remember, every great book has weathered the storm of editing. And you don’t have to brave this storm alone.
Are you ready to collaborate and elevate your book to the heights it deserves?