Novel editing – done!

A group of people celebrating in a room with champagne and confetti

I’m finally done editing For the Birds!

Well, not done. But one step closer to done. This weekend, I ignored the beautiful weather outside as much as I could and planted my butt in chair for two full days of solid editing. I pushed past a certain scene that had been stressing me out, added a few items I realized I’d left out, and deleted a few scenes that had once been my darlings, but were now just weighing the story down. Once I reached the end, I did another quick run through the story to clean up a few places I’d been stuck. And then, just like that, it was over. 

Deep breath. 

It’s not really over, of course. The book is now on my Kindle, ready for a draft read-through. But this is where things get fun. This time as I’m reading it, I’ll have my reader hat on, paying attention to pacing and consistency. Once I’ve fixed anything I find, then it’s off to beta readers so they can find all the things I’ve missed. Then it’s off to my editor for a polish. 

And then….and then….

And then I’m off to query agents!

This is the part I’m most nervous about, and probably why I kept stalling the editing process. The beautiful thing about self-publishing is there’s no querying involved. I don’t have to talk someone into publishing my book because I’m the publisher. But now, I will be handing over a story I’ve poured so much soul into, and depend on a professional’s opinion about whether it’s worthy enough for a publisher. I have all these what if questions rolling around: What if they hate it? What if they can’t sell it? What if I wrote this book only for it to never get published? What if it’s published, but never sells? What if I fail this time, and then ruin my chances for future books? 

All these what if questions aren’t really helpful, though. From the start, I’ve dedicated this book to navigating the traditional publishing route, for better or worse. If it fails, it fails. If I can’t sell it, I will self publish it. But I have to at least try. 

First things first, polish this book. 

Other first thing, research agents and start writing a bomb ass query letter. 

Wish me luck. 

P.S. Hey, other authors. If you’re also looking for ways to find a literary agent, Jane Friedman has an excellent post about it here.

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