I took yesterday off work and spent the entire day editing my first draft. This was mainly because I felt I was behind schedule. I’m not sure how you get behind schedule when you are self-publishing, but if you don’t set some milestones for yourself, things just don’t ever get done. My goal was to complete my first pass through the entire book by the end of June. I didn’t quite make it, but I was close. I actually finished at about 7:30 this morning.
The first pass is to catch all of the spelling and grammatical errors, the most egregious formatting issues, and to just check the overall pacing of the story. I think I’m good on the first two, but I probably still have a little work to do on the third. I’m still trying to decide whether to hire a no-kidding editor to give my book a once over. I have gotten mixed advice in this area, but my guess is that a great editor is definitely worth the extra cost, but a not-so-great editor will leave you feeling like you wasted your money. I don’t know any of either kind, so I’m left wondering how much effort it is to find a good one.
I also have a sense that my word count is still too high (over 100,000) and I’m not sure how to strip that down. Much of it is driven by the desire to not throw good work away, but how can I tell? That may be where an editor’s greatest value lies – they can give you an unbiased opinion of which parts of the story enhance the flow and which parts just slow you down. So I guess I’m looking for an editor now.