Phase 3: Line Edits
Line editing is going to focus more on the flow of the story, your sentence structure, making sure that everything is clear and concise, and making sure that character voice is intact throughout the story, etc. At this point you may choose to hire a professional line editor, you may work with a critique partner, or you may attempt to go it alone and improve your line editing by yourself. Line editing is one of my favourite parts of the editing process so you can expect a lot of tips and tricks coming your way in future videos.
At this point in the process, all of your foundational layers, i.e. plot, pacing, world building, characters, etc. need to be solid. Do not move on to the line editing phase if there is still work to be done on any of those.
While you can focus on grammar and punctuation at this point it is not the main focus of line editing. Here is where you are going to be trimming out your repetitive language, your filler and filter words, ensuring that you don’t have ambiguous language, making sure that you are using the correct terminology, ensuring that the tone is correct, smoothing out the flow of your dialogue and narrative, and making sure that there are no shifts in point of view where there shouldn’t be.
Phase 4: Copy Edits
This is where you are allowed to worry about grammar and punctuation. It’s also what we are going to worry about consistency. Are you using a specific standard version of English? As a Canadian author, we use a weird mishmash of American and British spelling, as well as having regional terminology. Copy editing is where you’re going to ensure that all of that is neat and tidy.
Phase 5: Covers
You probably want your cover in hand before the proofreading rolls around. You can certainly get it earlier than this phase, but you don’t want to wait until after.
Are you purchasing a cover? Are you commissioning a custom piece? Are you going to be designing and creating it yourself? If you are having someone else make your cover, the price point is going to vary depending on whether it is a premade or a custom design, and how many formats you are going to need. Your general options are e-book, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook. In some cases, when you’re purchasing multiple formats it can be cheaper per cover, but overall can be out of the price range for many authors. If you are having someone else format your book, you will need the covers ready to go when you give them your manuscript so that it can all be compiled into a complete book.
Phase 6: Proofreading
Proofreading can be a tricksy beast. In many instances you will need to do two rounds of proofreading. First in the manuscript itself to make sure that there are no typos that snuck through and that the general formatting is correct. The next place you want to proofread is once it has been formatted into a book. That is where you will do a final catch of typos, and ensure that everything looks correct in the manuscript. If you are having someone else format for you one reason that you might want to do a proofread prior to the book being formatted is because mistakes can be expensive to correct. In that case you want the book to be as polished as possible before you hand over the manuscript to a formatter.
Phase 7: Choosing A Release Date
This is another thing you can certainly choose earlier on in the process. The perk of waiting until this point is that it should be a pretty stress-free release since a huge chunk of the work is already done.
If you’re watching this and you haven’t yet finished your first draft, try not to choose a release date, or at least not to announce it, until you’re somewhat sure how long the process is going to take. After you’ve completed developmental edits is a great time to announce because the phases after that tend not to take as long. Do your research for when a good time to release is. Some months are more popular than others for specific genres or sub genres, like February for romance and October for horror and monster romance. Also research when a bad time to release is. Try to avoid most holidays because people are unlikely to be home reading.
Phase 8: Presale
The presale period is when your book is available for preorder through your chosen retailers. How long this period lasts is entirely up to you. The maximum allowable presale on Amazon is one year. If the presale is for a standalone or the first book in a series, I have found that anywhere between two weeks to three months can be a reasonable time for a presale period. It’s enough time to generate interest, but not so long that people are going to forget your book entirely if you’re not actively marketing that entire time.
If you’re writing subsequent books in a series and aren’t afraid to test fate, then that one year presale can be a great way to get sales from people coming off of finishing the book before the one that you’re working on.
Phase 9: ARCs
ARCs are advanced reader copies, and I have a whole series dedicated to this. I’m not going to reiterate the information here because any questions you have should be answered in that series.
Phase 10: Release Day
Congratulations! Your book is done and has finally been released into the wild. There are plenty of things you can do for release day. Some people have release parties, either digital or in real life, some host giveaways, and some will have had a street team to aid their marketing efforts. Some people may do nothing at all for release day and let their book go quietly into the world. Release day and the week following are likely to be your best time for reads and sales unless you go viral down the road, a subsequent book gets popular, or you stumble across the magic bullet for ads.
If this is your debut, and even if it’s not, I highly recommend that you look into hosting events on various social media platforms, such as author takeovers and spotlights, which I will be covering in a future video. Get people excited about your work, host a giveaway, post some games, let them engage with you and your book.
Phase 11: Post Release
This is where you settle into a new author life where you balance marketing your released book with creating future works. Your cycle is going to be starting all over again but this time you have the benefit of additional experience and hopefully your community has grown during all of this. Things do get easier as you go in some respects, so take heart in that. You’ll understand a lot more about yourself, your process, and the publishing industry at this phase and you can carry all of that forward. I wish you so much luck on this journey.
That’s all for now. You can find all of my books and platforms below. If you have questions or suggestions for future episodes, please do let me know. And if you’d like early access to these videos you can join my Patreon where I share them with people as soon as they’re ready to roll. Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you soon for another episode!
First Heat Series – m/f, 3rd person POV
First Heat: https://books2read.com/FirstHeat
First Heat: Second Chances: https://books2read.com/FHSC
First Heat: Tying The Knot: https://books2read.com/FirstHeatTTK
Heat Play Love – m/m/m, 3rd person POV https://books2read.com/HeatPlayLove
Conference Confidential – m/f, 3rd person POV https://books2read.com/ConferenceConfidential
2021 Omegaverse Collection – contains First Heat, First Heat: Second Chances, Heat Play Love, Conference Confidential, and 2 bonus shorts https://books2read.com/OV2021
Nicky and the Night Owls: Part One – polyamorous (m/f/nb/f/nb/m), multi 1st person POV https://books2read.com/NickyNightOwls
Nicky and the Night Owls: Part Two – polyamorous (m/f/nb/f/nb/m), multi 1st person POV – currently on preorder https://books2read.com/NickyNightOwls2
Knotty or Nice Christmas Anthology – (my story is based on Nicky and the Pack) – https://books2read.com/knotty-or-nice
Salacious Salvation – m/f, 3rd person POV https://books2read.com/SalaciousSalvation
Playtime with Professor – m/f, 3rd person POV https://books2read.com/PlaytimeWithProfessor
PARANORMAL Into The Depths – f/nb, 3rd person POV https://books2read.com/intothedepths
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