June 30, 2014
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In my quest to help others produce high-quality books, I’m exploring the various options available to whip a manuscript into publication-ready condition. Conveniently, I already have a couple of completed novel drafts – stories with a beginning, middle and end – that I can put through the publishing process. Note: While I am planning to self-publish this particular manuscript, many of the steps (especially in these early stages) also apply to prepping a novel for agents in pursuit of a traditional publishing contract.
During the recent Book Expo America in New York, I met representatives from many of the large self-publishing companies. BookBaby, in particular, impressed me with their guide The End. Now What?! 6 Steps to Take Your Manuscript to Marketplace in 6 Weeks. These folks are quite candid about the fact that a successful book depends on the quality of the story and the writing, which typically requires the assistance of objective readers and a top-notch editor. (In fact, five of the six weeks in the guide cover the rewriting and editing process.) To this end, the company has partnered with FirstEditing.com.
I dusted off my first manuscript and went through the online quote process with FirstEditing.com. This draft is just over 50,000 words, and I described the project as a “Fiction Book – First-time Author,” which, I assume, would be priced higher than editing services for a veteran. The website provided an instant price quote, and I received my editing sample less than three hours later.