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Hey - i'm in the process of publishing my first book. Creative Non-fiction.
I self-published a business book under a pseudonym on Kindle format via Amazon, which is easy and straightforward.
For my proper book, under my own name - it's a more difficult process, and i expect to invest 1000's and not make any money.
You need to have your draft ready and then send it to editors. I've met with many mentors in this area and they've advised me on how to get my book ready to be sent to an agent.
You need an agent, who then takes your book to a publishing house - just sending manuscripts out like that will not get you very far.
At the moment i'm looking at spending around $4,000 to edit my 60,000-word manuscript. You don't need to pay that much, at all, but I would recommend not cheapening out here.
So your first step should always be getting it professionally edited. What type of editing you need will depend on your budget and the amount of work your book needs.
There are 4 basic types of editing your book will go through:
1. Developmental/structural editing - The editor will look at the entire book holistically and see how you structured the text, the chapters, character development etc. and point out any confusion in your story, inconsistencies in the narrative etc., But more than that, the editor will understand what market the book is being aimed at and suggest you restructure based on your target audience and the best chance it has to sell.
2. Line editing - This is like copy editing ++ - in that the editor will look beyond simple grammar and syntax. The editor will suggest you rephrase sentences and paragraphs so they flow better, sound crisper. They will look at names you've used and make sure they are spelled consistently etc., They will look at any plot holes, narrative issues and use of vocabulary
3. Copy editing - Will go through your book and check for grammatical errors, usage, consistencies (is it american english? is it british english? etc.,) punctuation usage and basic "style".
4. Proofreading - This is the final editing that will scan your book and double/triple check for formatting issues, typos etc., before it's sent to get published.
Developmental editing is the most expensive (about $4k for a 60,000 word manuscript) but the editor you will work with will be highly regarded and very competent and will work closely with you as you develop the book. As such, this should happen at the early stage and he might get you to re-write whole chunks. But, with that you get the whole package - line editing as well as developmental editinig.
Not every author needs developmental/structural editor. But at minimum you need line editing - which would be about half the price.
Copy editing if you really can't afford a line editor.
Proofreading will be done by the publisher at the last stage.
Get your book edited professionally then send to agents in your niche, and they'll introduce you to a publisher.
But again - all teh money will come out of your own pocket and you're likely to loose 1000s on your first book. That's not the point though, you first job is to get a publishing deal so you can build an audience for your material (create social media accounts, create a blog, market yourself, do readings, whatever it takes to get known) - only once you have a name, you can think about advances for your next book and actually making a living at it.
Some good editors i've looked at are here:
I'm currently working with someone from the NY Book Editors - which is probably the most priciest option in the list (full developmental editing) - but i think it's worth it. The EFA has lots of freelancers you could negotiate prices with.
If this is your first manuscript, you need to work with one of these people before approaching an agent who will then approach a publishing house on your behalf.
Again, you will not make any money on your first book, expect to spend 1000s, but, you will get your foot in the door and then build your career from there.
- yeah, it's not about the money. i've learned that on my feature-length doc. and your considerable write up is MUCH appropriated!pr2
- This was very informative. Thanks for taking the time to write this out.SteveJobs
- Yeah i been going through this process over the last 6 months, made lots of notes and bookmarks. ywKhurram
- Photobook universe is a bit different. But you do it out of passion, it's impossible to make money from it.SimonFFM
- Excellent advise thanks and inspiring. I'm working on my first book to self publish since Jan 1, my 1st draft came in 30 days. Now editing.robotron3k
- Y'all inspiring.ideaist
- my brother in law just had his first fiction book published...went through exactly what you said :)exador1
- i did the cover :)
- he's done a few non-fiction books as well...
it's everything you mentioned...takes a long time to get things right...but the end result is worth it...exador1
- @exador1 - ^^ wow, your brother-in-law is very accomplished!Khurram
- beautiful cover too mate.Khurram
- My brother-in-law is a cunt! I guess you don't get the on you WANT, you get the one you DESERVE!ideaist
- lol... thanks Khurram :)
yeah, he's a professor, political activist, author, and podcaster ... definitely a busy guy :)exador1
- working on the cover was a LOT of fun :)
doing a ton of design work for his podcasts now as well...exador1