Every time, I get ready to release a book, I get reminded how tedious the editing process is. It’s not just a matter of accepting or rejecting changes. It’s a matter of looking at the same book 15 or so times. Here’s the step by step process:
- Me: I’m supposed to read it. I don’t always do this, because I’m not good at noticing my own errors. Usually, I run Word’s spelling and grammar check and call it a day.
- Alpha Readers: The alpha readers are the first line of defense against “I know what I’m talking about, I’m sure everyone else does as well.” Because a lot of times, my readers don’t know what I’m talking about.
- First Editor: It goes to the first editor. They send it back with notes on spots that need clarification as well as grammar and spelling issues. I review every marked change and accept or reject it.
- Second Editor: It goes to the second editor. They send it back with notes on clarification issues, spelling & grammar. Repeat going through every marked change and accept or reject it.
- Beta Readers (1-10): This is where I begin to despise the book. The betas return it with notes on whether it needs more clarification in certain spots and any spelling and grammar errors that may have been missed.
- Me: At this point, I’ve looked at this book 15 times, if everyone has returned it like they’re supposed to. I’ve gone through and accepted or rejected changes 14 times.
- Now, I get to combine every copy. I do this one at a time… so 10 times. I merge each document with the finished copy I got back from the second editor. Because betas will sometimes catch the exact same mistakes and sometimes they won’t.
- This means if Beta 1 caught an error that Editor 1 & 2 didn’t, it gets marked in the first merged copy of Editors/Beta 1. I accept Beta 1’s changes, save the file with a new name for example Goddess Edited w/Beta 1. I then merge the edited plus Beta 1’s copy with Beta 2’s.
- Rinse and repeat until all 10 beta reader copies have been merged into the “final” document. Accepting and rejecting changes as I go. So now I’ve gone through the book 25 times.
- Now comes the final round of formatting (because even though it’s been preformatted sometimes it gets broken with the edits). Each distribution service requires a different kind of formatting. Thankfully, Draft2Digital offers me the option of downloading finished copies of all the formats they have. This means I don’t have to format for Kindle or Google. I can download the mobi and epub offered by Draft2Digital and upload it to Kindle and Google. And Draft2Digital handles all my other distribution (iBooks, Nook, Kobo, Scribd, etc). So, now I have to do the paperback formatting.
This means before I publish the book, even though I don’t read it word for word, I look at it 29 times before a reader gets to download a copy. And this is usually why I hate the book by the time it publishes. It’s not the book itself that’s the problem it’s the fact that I’ve looked at sections of it over and over and over again ad nauseum. And it’s time consuming.
I actually set a timer when I went through this process for Fortified Dreams (I lost my second editor after Fortified published and Goddess will be the first time I’ve been able to use two editors since then – gore is apparently as objectionable as erotica). Anyway the point of that sentence was that I spent 64 hours and 32 minutes on this process before publishing Fortified dreams.
Now, because of my own stupidity, I have to shove this process into just 3 days with Goddess Investigations as well as trying to get sleep and meals in. This is entirely my own fault and I know it. Which is why I’m starting this process this week with Nephilim Narrative 2. My two alpha readers can expect it to show up the 22nd or 23rd of July. However, the “finalized” version of Goddess must be uploaded to Amazon by 11:59 pm on July 22nd.
After the release date on July 26th, I can go back and make more changes or upload new files if I want thankfully. Because sometimes, I do need to do that. I probably will this time as well as I didn’t allow enough time for Editor 2 to complete the work (again, my fault, not hers).