So, you’ve completed your manuscript, hours, days, weeks and months have gone in to it, but is it ready? For most authors being so close to their work makes it virtually impossible to look at it from an objective position, the phrase, ‘not being able to see the wood for the trees’, springs to mind.
You could persevere regardless and publish without having the book looked at, for some authors this may work, but for many it doesn’t, when the first genuine reviews hit the book’s Amazon page it can be shock. Suddenly the ratings start to come in as threes, twos and even one star, this can be depressing for any author and make you question why you wrote the book in the first place.
However, for 99% of authors their early drafts are full of errors, issues with the structure, the plot, the book’s flow and so on, but with review and editing, a manuscript can go from mediocre to outstanding.
So why doesn’t every author get their manuscript looked at by a professional?
This can be for a number of reasons:
But ask yourself these questions, why did you write the book? Do you respect your readers? Is this a vanity project? Would your favorite author cut corners?
When you get to the end of writing a manuscript it feels like you’re in the final stages of completing a very long journey, you’ve been going for miles and just ahead you can see the finish line. But although this is a common mindset to find your self in, you need to pace yourself and realize that completing the manuscript is just stage one.
When you view publishing you need to look at it as an on-going journey with your book, one that keeps going for years. So, once you have the manuscript completed you need to understand that it is not immediately ready for publication.
So why should you use an editor?
As we mentioned earlier, publishing is a long-term game and some elements within this will take time, but then most great things do. If you can look at the journey of your book as something that will blossom into a work of greatness over a timescale which may be a little longer than you first thought, you will be on your way to publishing the book you always wanted, your readers will thank you!
They say that within us all there is a book waiting to escape, but out of the seven billion (and counting) people upon this planet it is just a few who actually achieve publication, now, of course if you were to expect every single person to write a book it would be a crazy notion, many don’t have the inclination and so many are not even in a position to be able to do so. However, if you’re reading this post then you are luckier than many, you have access to the internet and more than likely have the resources to communicate to the wider world.
So, if you are sat in front of a laptop, desktop, tablet or even just a cell phone and want to see the realization of your dream of writing, you have to ask your self one question, what is stopping you?
For many of us we tend to forget just how lucky we actually are, we may have a job, a house, electricity, clean water, food, security, health, freedom and access to resources that only decades ago could only have been dreamt of. Yet, we bitch, whine and moan about how we never have the time or just don’t have the tools we need to create.
Remember, Shakespeare created plays which are still reenacted around the world today, he had no electricity or easy access to the resources you have, the same goes for Charles Dickens, yet most of us have heard of his work and his novels still delight and entertain a modern crowd.
The reality is that we have never had it so easy to create, you have more power, education and inspiration at your finger tips than any other generation, so again, what is stopping you?
Maybe you don’t have time?
And I get it, we are all busy, there are a million things we need to do and countless commitments we need to keep, but look at your day, no, really, look at it. If you were running your day like you would a business could you streamline elements? Could you find a spare thirty minutes per day or even weekly to sit down with your notepad and pen or laptop? If you wanted to write as badly as you need to breath, you would find a way, even if it meant your book took several years to complete, you would find a way to complete it.
Once more, what is stopping you?
Unless you have been given an advance by a large publishing house (and in this case you are probably a full time author anyway) you only have the deadline that you set yourself, and this is a very important element of writing to understand, it is not a race. If you are struggling to write, try not to make things even harder on yourself by sticking to an unrealistic time frame, if you need to take twenty four months or longer, do it.
Look at your week and find where you have some spare time, it may only be 30 – 60 mins per week, but when you look at this over the course of a year it would give you up to 52hrs, if you could manage just 30 mins per day five times a week then you would have 130hrs per year just to write. If you still don’t think you can spare time, add up how much time you spend checking social media and watching TV (just one hour each day is over 45 working days per year – based on an 8 hour day).
If you only ask yourself one question today, ask yourself what is stopping you?
Book cover designers.