First Draft to Final Product

I hate this part.

I sort of hate it really. If you’ve ever written anything like a short story or novella or even an epic, the rush of finishing that first draft is a great one. “Yeah I’m awesome, got my first draft done, whoohoo go me, etc etc.” and of course a small part of you thinks, I’m such an awesome writer, a quick run through to correct some what will be totally minor grammar stuff and I’ll publish this baby out. The public will love it! My name will be on the posts of every Goodreads message board, the #amreading twitter hashtag will blow up with rave reviews!!

Yeah.. hold your horses there buddy.

You (and I mean me as well in that you) have a LONG LONG way to go.

  1. 1. You need to have a GROUP of others read it. Meaning, at least 4-5 others. Meaning feedback. Just because you think your ever so clever betrayal in the first 20 pages makes sense, doesn’t mean it will to anyone else. Your the author, you KNOW what motivates your characters already. If you don’t give the readers enough clues, they aren’t going to understand.
  2. 2. That feedback you got from those 4-5 people? USE it. Even if it means that something you thought was awesome needs to be cut of changed. If they all notice the same thing, there’s a problem.
  3. 3. You need an editor. Yes, really. And yes, it’s not cheap to hire one. And yes, waiting for the draft BACK from editing will suck. Accept it. If your lucky enough to get picked up by a publishing house you won’t need to hire one, otherwise, it’s your money. Or if your REALLY lucky you can work something out with an editor. Trade services or whatnot. But you need one. The fact is that there’s a good chance you will overlook issues. It’s your work, you have seen it 1000 times now. You need a critical eye. Not just a readers eye, but a harsh critical one. You will hate it. Accept it, and move on!
  4. 4. Covers. Book Covers. You can go the cheap route, Fiverr is a great choice for that end, but you DO get what you pay for. Finding a cover is also not always cheap sadly. Remember though, the first thing a prospective buyer is going to see is your cover. Good cover art is a must.

 

So after ALL of that, then you can publish.. yay!

But wait, what formats? eBook only? eBook and Paperback? What about audiobooks? Then you have marketing.. book trailers, postcards, bookmarks, etc.

I hate that part. But as others have said, the first draft? That’s the damn easy section. Getting from the first draft to the final product isn’t easy. Do your self a favor though, don’t skimp or cut corners on it. It’s just as important as the first part.

Joshua
Father, Husband, IT Manager, and author. Currently Working on Bridgefinders, a modern day fantasy novel.