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HELP! I’m obsessing over every period and comma instead of launching my book.

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Girl obsessing over the editing phase with crumpled paper

Hooray!! Your first draft is done!

This is a time of celebration … and then it’s on to the next phase of self-publishing your book: editing.

The editing phase is a very common phase for soon-to-be authors to get stuck. We counsel our authors on this with EVERY book we publish.

Over the year, we’ve heard every possible excuse to attempt to extend the editing phase of the book. Some excuses are valid: a family member passed away; they were sick with the flu … etc. However, MOST excuses are just that – excuses.

The excuses we use to keep us stuck in the editing phase all come from the same place: FEAR.

Fear of looking stupid. Fear of being “found out” as a fraud that doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Fear of judgment. Fear of professional backlash … the list of fears is endless.

We come up with any “valid” excuse to stay in the editing phase, the most common being that we want the book to be “perfect.”

I hate to be the bearer of bad news … oh wait, no I don’t – that’s my job!

The bad news is your book will NEVER be perfect. Never. Which means no one else’s book is perfect either.

I’ve read books from major publishing houses that have grammar errors and spelling mistakes.

The first book that I wrote, which was published by a small publishing company, had spelling mistakes in it that I didn’t even put in my final draft!

When it comes to content, there will always be something you want to add or revise. After writing my first book, I became a certified Yoga teacher. Now I know a MASSIVE amount of information that could be helpful, but I can’t go back and edit my first book.

The good news is you CAN edit your book after it’s been published. *sigh of relief* The joys of self-publishing.

During the initial phases of editing; developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading; you’ll have three different editors working on your manuscript to improve the content, consistency, and technical accuracy.

After each editor has time to work on your manuscript, they will hand it back to you for “author revisions.” During these times, we give our authors a specific time frame (no more than 2 weeks) to read over the suggested changes from the editor, approve or deny the changes, and move the manuscript on to the next editor.

If you’re working through your own self-publishing process, we HIGHLY recommend you choose a launch date and then work backward to plan all the steps you need to take to prepare a high-quality self-published book. That publishing plan also includes specific deadlines for YOU, not just your editors, designers, and other contractors.

Again, as a self-publishing author you have two spectacular advantages:

  1. YOU can choose which editors you work with, selecting those that have experience in the genre of book you’re writing and lots of great testimonials from other authors like you.
  2. You CAN make updates and edits to your manuscript AFTER the book has been published and launched. Simply write up the changes and send them to your book formatter so they can update the manuscript file for you. Once the edits are done, upload the new file to Amazon KDP and/or IngramSpark, and you’re good to go.
  3. BONUS: If you make significant changes to your manuscript after your launch, consider updating the cover and releasing it as a version 2.0 of your original book. (A perfect opportunity for a second 5-day launch week!)

You’re a writer and soon-to-be-published author. Your job is to write.

When it comes to editing, you hire editors who are professionals. You pay them and trust their work. You have time to review and approve their work.

You write. They edit. Then you publish (after a few other steps).

Keep it simple and trust the process.


Bio: Victoria Klein is a two-time published author and the VP of Productions for Paper Raven Books. Formerly PRB’s Book Project Manager, Victoria has helped numerous authors through the self-publishing process from start to finish. Through her monthly posts, she’ll reveal the biggest concerns and mistakes of self-publishing authors, and how to solve them.

Publishing Success Blueprint

Get our blueprint for the journey from book idea to published, successful author and everything you'll need to think about along the way. (It's free!)

GET THE BLUEPRINT NOW