Yes Bon Jovi fans, we are mid-way through the Simply Self-Published process. For a quick rehash, here's what we've done so far:
Prepped - we found out what we wanted to write about, how we were going to write it, and when we had time to get all this work done.
Wrote the roughest of Rough Drafts
Organized and Edited said rough draft into something more closely resembling a well written book.
Time to take a break from the book. Mind you, there's still work to be done so don't get too relaxed. At this point you want to pass the book off to your Beta Reader(s). Whose that you may ask? Well, a Beta Reader is someone who will read your draft and give you honest feedback. They're not there to edit the work, or critique it; nor do you want them to gush over it as if it's the best novel they've ever read. You want this person (or persons) to read your book for plot holes, words or phrases that took them out of the story. You want them to ask questions about the character's motivations; point out any places they didn't get the joke or understand your intent. They'll surely spot any grammatical errors and such, and you'll be grateful that they did, but for the most part, you want to know how they experienced your novel from a readers point of view.
While they're reading, you'll want to take this time to get your book cover in order. I DIY my covers but you may want to hire a cover designer. Either way, while you're on 'break' from your book, get the cover design out of the way.
As soon as your Beta Reader(s) is done, gather their notes and do another editing pass on your novel. This editing pass shouldn't take nearly as long as the first one. At this point, you're working with an organized document so finding where you need to make changes and what changes need to be made will be much clearer.
I suggest you do this edit / beta reader / edit cycle no more than twice. It's easy to get stuck here trying to make things 'perfect' and we all know,
Yes, you want it to be free of grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes, but not since the late 1990's have I found anything in print that was completely free of a mistake. Don't know what super powered editors they had back in the day but believe me, they have gone the way of the Dodo bird. It surprises me actually the number of printed materials I come across with typos in them. Anyway, do your best to have as clean a manuscript as you can but don't get so wrapped up in making things perfect that you never get to published.
Alrighty gang, that's it for this week. See you back here for the next stop on the Simply Self-Published journey.
As always, sending love & inspiration,