So, now I’ve finished my first novel…YAHOOOOOOO. Yikes, what do I do now? It was fun, regardless of the hard work to write the story, but editing is not as much fun, and it’s tricky too. There are different ways to get through this process. I used a couple of different ones. I went through the book myself first…word by word. Then I hired an editor. When I received my manuscript back I went through the task of making all the necessary/suggested changes, along with line edits/corrections. Are you bored to tears yet? I know I am…because by now I’ve read my story, which I already know all too well, too many times and I’m word blind.

Finally, I’m done and almost ready for the publishing part, but first, let’s get this baby off to a beta reader. I met this gal at the stock show in Colorado. She and her husband had a booth of glass items they were selling. I love anything glass, so Dan and I stopped to see what they had at their booth. Dan chatted with her husband while I became quick friends with this lady. We had a lot in common, so when I mentioned I’d recently finished my first novel she was all over that one. She told me she did beta reads for many authors and offered to read mine. After exchanging information, we were off to see what other vendors had to offer.

A few days later, I got ready to send my manuscript off to her…but found my stomach twisting a bit. Not because I didn’t think she was a reputable person, trust me I checked her out…but because my novel was my baby. Any mother can relate to the sense of dread that hits when you send your child off for the first day of school. I was so proud of my novel, but my sense of confidence was about to go out the window as soon as I hit the send button. That was when I realized that everyone has an opinion, and if I wasn’t ready to handle the comments I wouldn’t be ready to publish. So, I pulled up my bootstraps and hit that send button. As days went by, my heart hurt, I’ve now exposed every part of me too, in reality, a stranger. I was a nervous wreck. When I spotted a response from her in my inbox, my heart stopped. Imagine my excitement when I read the following:

I read your book right away, and very quickly I might add.  It is so full of suspense that I really didn’t want to put it down 🙂  I loved all of the characters, except for Rob of course.  I don’t know how he thought he would get away with killing sweet Sara.  But, then again, he probably had a scheme for that outcome as well.  I loved the happy ending for Sara and Brandon!  Since we had talked about our mutual love of dragonflies, it was fun to read that they were details in her wedding dress and veil.  Great touch!

Now, if you haven’t read my first novel, I’m sorry if I’ve shared too much…guess this is as good a time as ever to pick up a copy…right?? Anyhow, back to my purpose of sharing that review, which is my excitement that she loved it. First major hurdle was done…whew. So as much work goes into writing the book, triple that for the amount of work that goes into editing that, and I say that with a conservative tone.

Next, stay tuned for a look into the life of self-publishing…happy writing.