Today I’m joined on the porch by Lady Soliloque. It’s nice to have another Southern Lady with me today. We both appreciate the value of a good sweet tea, which is what we’re enjoying right now. It was a blistering 81 degrees in the Sunshine State today, and we are having a great time talking about Editors and Beta teams.
Let’s listen in as Lady Soliloque shares her experience with both.
Good afternoon y’all! I am so honored to have been asked by Miss Kelly to give y’all an insight to my process as a writer on the road to publication. The single most important thing I learned as a writer, and the best bit of advice I can give towards anyone on the road to finishing a novel and getting it published, is to get a beta team and get an editor or two, or three.
It is certainly hard enough to actually finish a book, so many writers I have spoken with never even make it past the first couple of chapters before they either give up or start a new story. You see, talent is common, drive is not. For those of y’all who are talented writers yet seem to be unable to stick with finishing what you start, a beta team is invaluable. Gathering a few friends, or fellow authors, who are willing to read as you write, chapter by chapter, not only gives you great feedback and pre-editing, it also provides a personal cheerleading squad to help keep you writing. Looking forward to the feedback of a good beta team will give you the drive you need to keep pounding on that keyboard!
Once your masterpiece is finished, allow your beta team to read the entire manuscript one last time. This helps them catch any mistakes they may have missed before you send it to the editor.
Editors are the final step, and that step is a big one. Throw on your thickest skin and send your manuscript to your editor. I suggest having at least two editors you can trust, one for the general editing and then a line editor. Even with writing programs it is easy to miss punctuation mistakes, grammar mistakes, and spelling mistakes in your own work. You will get your manuscript back with notes. Make the changes, even if you don’t always agree with them. Your editor has an advantage; they are reading your manuscript through a stranger’s eyes and this allows them to objectively evaluate what you have written.
It may be hard to accept the advice of your beta team and your editors, but in the end you will realize how much your success as a writer depends on them. When you go to submit your manuscript for representation or publication, be sure to head back to your beta team and editors to check over your cover letter and synopsis, even if it’s short and to the point!
Thanks so much Lady Soliloque! What great insight to the value of editors and beta teams. Read more about Lady Soliloque on my Porch Guests page.