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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Editing - Does It Ever Get Any Easier?

Wow! So I just finished my first edit of Xannu - The Portal, the third book in The Southern Lands YA fantasy series. It is currently scheduled for release in August of this year.

People often ask why it takes so long to get a book to market? I mean, if it only takes a month or two to write, then surely it can be on Amazon in three? If only it was that easy. In all honesty, getting a book to market is a six to nine month process at the minimum. I wish there was an easier way. But if you want to do the book justice and have it properly edited, then there are no shortcuts. My process for releasing a novel includes the following:
  • Writing the book (2 months)
  • Leaving the book alone - don't touch it (1 month)
  • Perform 1st edit (up to 1 month)
  • Send book out to pre-readers for feedback (1 month)
  • Re-edit and send book to sample reviewers (2 months)
  • Perform final edits and prepare for launch (1 month)

And there we have it - eight months before you even know it.

So why do I spend so much time on editing, as opposed to writing? Quite simply because all books need editing. Words and sentences that are written in the heat of a frenzied writing session have the spirit of what I want to write, but not always the correct grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, etc. that they should have. It takes several sets of eyes to wring the best out of a book before it's ready to go to market. Still, having written the actual manuscript and performed the first edit (which I find is always the most difficult), all that's left is a matter of time. It's a little like making wine. You've let the grapes grow and you've pressed and blended the juice. All you need to do now is let it mature in the bottle, sampling along the way to make sure it's what it's supposed to be. After the requisite period the book is ready for sale!

Anyway, I've rambled on enough for today and I need to take a rest. It's been a long week and I'm glad that my first edit is finally over. Now it's nearly time to solicit my pre-readers. But more about that next week.


  1. I know what you mean! My novel I just finished will take some time to edit. It took quite a long time to write, especially because there were long periods when I wasn't my writing has changed and evolved and gotten better. I do have a lot of work to do, so I know what you mean about the editing process!

  2. I'd be happy to preread for you since you've been such a supportive Tweeter of ebookedit!

  3. I'm amazed you can write and edit your work in such a short span of time! I have completed writing a book in two months, but the revision alone takes me 6 months, and the editing part longer than that! All said, I think it takes me a year to get my work to publishable quality (and many times much longer)! Very can't possibly have a day job! ;)

  4. I totally have a day job too :-) I wish I didn't...

  5. Wow, you're fast. But thanks for the breakdown. I'm sure it differs depending on genre and length.

  6. It takes me longer to write a book then two months. I must shorten them. I've learned to stop working on more than one at a time though. Waiting to get my book back from my editor right now. It will be some time before I can get it out there. Congrats to you, Paul, for being able to get your books out so fast.

  7. Sorry - just realised my comment should be here. Put another way I've been writing my manuscript for many years and could probably have written ten novels in the same time. Now that's what I call editing. Either that or I'm too much of a perfectionist and not enough of a natural talent. Same when I paint or tickle the ivories. It's never good enough for me.Guess that's my big problem but who knows, one day...........