I'm an Industrial Engineer or, in other words, definitely not a full-time author with vast knowledge of the publishing industry. Back in February 2018 I had finished my first version of Tale of Two Brothers, with 115k+ words. During March 2018, I revised my work thoroughly, and was able to reduce it to 108.599 words. However, I still felt the book was not ready to publish, especially since English is my second language.
I researched about editing and learned about line-editing, copy-editing and proofreading. Editing was a must if I wished to publish a high-quality English book. Therefore, I contacted the Pro Book Editor, a very professional editing company led by Ms. Debra L. Hartmann (https://theprobookeditor.com/).
We negotiated the cost per word for a line-editing round, for a copy-editing round and for a proofreading round. At the time, I thought editing was a one-sided, procedural process were Ms. Debra would revise my book, suggest improvements and charge for her services. I had no clue how wrong I was.
On May 22nd, 2018, Ms. Debra sent me our final contract and we started this amazing journey together. On June 25th, she sent me my first revised version of Tale of Two Brothers with hundreds, if not thousands, of revisions. It was overwhelming to see so much to change in my first book.
Before this, I though editing came down to punctuation and grammar. I couldn't have been more wrong. Ms. Debra analyzed my characters deep enough to suggest plot changes, to make them take decisions that adequately reflected their inner selves, their struggles, and their desires.
Additionally, she taught me during this process about my repetitive mistakes, how to solve them, and how to take advantage of my unique author's voice (we all have one, so I'm not self-praising here). Together we built a better and improved version of Tale of Two Brothers.
Eventually, she sent me four revised sections of the book and we agreed that the last section of the book would be revised by myself as the original contrat underestimated the workload (remember, this is a book written in my second language). I improved as an author, as an editor, as a character and world builder thanks to this editing process.
In the end, on December 4th, 2018, after three rounds of editing, dozens of emails, and thousands of revisions, Tale of Two Brothers was ready to publish. A book that is deeper, more cohesive, more exciting, with complex characters, with well-rounded primary and secondary plots, and simply put, better than the version first finished on February 2018.
So, how important is editing? Just do it and thank me later!
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