Ask the Editor Day 4 – Will I Ever Be Done Editing?

Today’s our last day for Ask the Editor. I’ve enjoyed this and seems you have too. So I’ve decided to continue Ask the Editor on my Facebook author page via live FB video. Visit today and like my page so you can be sure not to miss those live events.

Ask the EditorNow for today’s questions.

I feel that editing is a process I could literally be in forever with my book. How do you reach the point where you know that the editing process is complete?

I imagine many writers feel like this. But let me bring some distinction to the question. A synonym of edit is revise. So as writers, we edit/revise our own work. And this is where we can get stuck wondering if we’ll ever get past the process. For myself, I can look at my words in an already published form, be it digital or print, and think, I should have written it this way.

When revising your manuscript, you come that point of “it’s done” when you have done all you can to make it the best you can. Then it’s time to send it to a professional editor or through a group of beta readers. Understand that even after your book is accepted by a traditional publisher, it will go through yet another edit.

If you are working with a professional editor and feel as though the process will never end, that’s a different situation. Let me give an example to clarify.

I had an acquaintance who was frustrated with the professional editing process. Every time she fixed one issue, the editor came back with “there’s still more wrong” but didn’t always say what that wrong was. To me that’s a sure sign of a scam or an unethical editor.

In my opinion, an ethical editor will point out all the problems up front, whether it’s a big picture edit or a line edit. Depending on your skill level as writer, the process will vary in time. If you’re a beginner and your manuscript has a lot of problems from grammar to a missing plot, the professional editing process could take a long time, but there shouldn’t be surprises along the way.

I hope that’s answered your question. If not, clarify things in the comments below and I’ll be sure to answer in the comments.

I live overseas. How can I break down the barrier with US publishers to take on my book?

This is a topic beyond my purview even as an editor at a publishing house. I wish I had an answer, but I only have some suggestions.

Setting up a US bank account may help (or at least state you are willing to do so). I expect there are US tax laws that complicate things for publishers paying royalties to foreign countries—I don’t know. Additionally, shipping physical books to your country may be financially prohibitive for small to medium publishers. I would submit to larger publishing houses rather than the smaller houses.

If somebody reading this has an answer, please include it in the comments below.

As you leave today, hop on over to my FB author page and like it, so you can be sure to get my live Ask the Editor videos beginning soon.

Want to get published but don’t know where to start?

Maybe you have a finished manuscript or just an idea stuck in your head. Email me today at Deb [at] DebraLButterfield [dot] com, and let's discuss how I can help you reach your dream of publication.

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