Editing is on my mind right now because I’m, well, editing. A whole novel, actually.
First I wrote the thing. I had a wonderful critique partner who helped me tremendously along the way. After I keyed, “The End,” I went back to the beginning and worked through it several times. Next I paid a professional editor, and she worked through it, making mostly minor grammar fixes and asking a couple of questions about the story itself which I will work on. And now, I’m fixing the minor stuff, then will fix the more major items, and then I’ll get it uploaded to Amazon for Kindle and print editions.
How long did this (starting with writing the whole novel, then completing the edits, getting a cover made, formatting and uploading) all take? A couple of years. How long should it have taken? About six months total, I think. Life got in the way. Life often does. We moved into a house—that was a huge undertaking, of course. We had to buy a houseful of furniture. We had to get the motorhome we’d been living in cleaned out and cleaned up, ready to sell. I was working on getting the short story collection, WARNING SIGNS, and another novel, REVELATIONS, published. We went on two trips. I got involved fixing up the family tree for my son. And so on.
I have three more novels to go plus several short story collections to do before my private backlist is published. In there somewhere I need to write a whole new novel because it looks as if I’m going to end up with three different series. One dark, one medium, and one light.
I think if I pushed myself, I could get a novel done in four to six months. That’s my time. But I have to depend on other people, too—the editors, cover designer, and if I end hiring one, a formatter. So, although us “indy” authors like to think we are totally independent, we still rely on other people. The difference is that we do have more control about who we hire, and after the work is done, when it gets published.
Ideally, my days would look like this: One thousand words done first thing in the morning. Then some networking and marketing for about an hour. In the evening, one hour of editing, probably about thirty pages an hour if I don’t run into anything drastic. This would be on a different project. Then one more hour of networking and marketing. Should be doable. If life doesn’t get in the way once again, as it is wont to do.