My Top Book Editing Secret Revealed...

So you're done with your book, but you're not "done-done"? Or maybe you're not in love with the action in the middle of the story, or your sub plot, or maybe you're still unsure about how the story ends? The editing process can be a grueling one - especially if you have a stash of red pens in your desk drawer. That's why I'm revealing my #1 editing secret here today.

This secret allowed me to finish writing my book in four months, and start looking for an agent immediately after. This secret allowed me to think differently about the entire publishing process. This secret allowed me to expedite my search for an agent, our quest for a publisher, and of course, get my book into the hands of young adult readers within a year of completing my initial manuscript. 

Are you ready for it? Great.

Stop Editing.

There you have it, folks. The #1 secret to editing your book is to stop editing. Put the red pen down. Stop tweaking chapters 10 - 15, stop working well into the evening hours on your closing pages. Stop. Just stop. 

We, as writers, tend to over-analyze, over-criticize, and over-edit our own work. It's up to you to break that habit here and now, because your own inner critic will run rampant on your pages, and severely delay your efforts to find an agent and get published. 

So when you're done with your work, when you've written "The End" - let it be the end. Get up and walk away from your desk and your computer. Go for a walk. Read some other book. Take a break from your work, and come back to it with fresh eyes a week or so later. 

Many people think of editing as a deliberate, labor-intensive dissection, page-by-page, that takes weeks if not months to complete. Most people don't give themselves a break between finishing their manuscript and beginning the editing process. If this is you, consider changing your mindset.

Take a much needed break from your first draft, and come back to your work with fresh eyes. Better yet, come back with the eyes of an agent - and edit with the agent's process in mind. You'll streamline the editing process and be ready to submit your work days after completing it. 

What do I mean by the agent's process? I've dedicated an entire section in my course, The Published Author, to agents - including what exactly they're looking for, agent pet peeves, and how to submit your work. 

Streamline the editing process by focusing on the first section of your book, knowing the agent will start at the beginning and read through a few chapters. Pay close attention to your opening pages, and ensure you've provided enough information about your protagonist, but not too much, and make sure there's a hook in the first few chapters to keep the reader engaged.

I have so much more to share with you, and that's why I've created The Published Author online course. A complete guide to getting your book published as a first time author. I created the course because I know, first hand, the struggle many aspiring authors face navigating the confusing world of book publishing. There's a lot of noise out there, but rest assured it's possible. 

I'm living, breathing proof that you can get your book published by a major publisher - and don't just take my word for it. Check out the testimonials from my students to find out what my course has done for them.  

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Amy Draheim