What to do when you're fixing a book to self publish?

Okay, my book’s in its first drafts and I was thinking like every day would be a chapter to fix instead of hours of editing each day. Like sometimes I get busy, so at night that’s when I write. Is focusing on one chapter at a time worth it versus focusing on the full books draft all at once?

It depends on your editing process, honestly. People like to approach it in different ways, and my way might be different to someone else.

How I do it, I will read through my manuscript, making line edits as i go about what to cut, what to add where etc.

Then, armed with these notes, I will rewrite the manuscript over again, with the most previous draft close by as my guide.


Okay because I’m frustrated since I’ve been reading the past 30 pages and there’s 119 pages in total. So that’s why…

My goal is at least 1k words a day by editing, and fixing the shit out of each chapter. Will this be a smart move?

That depends on your time frames. Personally, I set the pace needed to have the work done to meet deadlines.

My editor is usually booked some months out, so I have a firm date that a manuscript has to be in her hands - then I work backwards from that date. I know when it needs to be in the hands of my alpha reader and betas. I know when I need their feedback by, to incorporate in the final pass before it goes to the editor. Usually the editor does two rounds and I might only have 1-2 weeks to incorporate her edits (and that’s on about 400 pages or 100k) before it has to be returned. I have to edit way more than 1k day, it might be 10k+ a day for larger projects. Then I will have the deadline to meet, to get the manuscript to the proofreader.


I’ve been using my Wattpad posting schedule as a motivator to get through final edits.

Right now, I post every Saturday, and I spend 1-5 hours hyper-focused on that one chapter.

I should be done posting my current book 59 Saturdays from now. :smiley:

Meanwhile, I get to write the next book in my ongoing series.

When I finish the whole series? I will begin a new project, and jump into self-publishing (aka MARKETING) this one.

I guess it all depends on your goals. Personally, I don’t want to see my work sink into oblivion in the massive ocean that is Amazon, so I want to put a lot of work into marketing.

Well I just published book 1 and most of book 2 is done but it’s editing that’s needed and it took 6 years to do book 1.

I think both is good! One chapter at a time is a good way to start; then, once you’re happy with that, look at the book with as much of a bird’s eye view as you can. I use Post-It notes at this stage – each Post-It note is a scene, and I move them around, asking myself if a scene really needs to be there, or if it would work better several chapters earlier, or if it reveals too much too soon… and once you’ve figured that out, that’s when you plunge headfirst into Draft Two.

I would also definitely recommend having a friend or some kind of beta reader look at it when you get to the proofreading stage. I always think I can proofread my own work. I am always wrong.

Like others have said, it’s really personal how you revise. I don’t see why you couldn’t go chapter-by-chapter, if that’s how you’re working best. It really depends on how you are able to see the plot of your book in your head. If you see it better by going through chronologically, then go for it!

My process is to do a read-through after a month of not looking at it, and write down any major changes I already know I want to make. I then create an outline and chapter summaries, so that it’s easy for me to see what scenes I need to delete or add. For example, in the book I’m revising now, I noticed I had almost no romance scenes. After that, I start the actual revision writing. I go by time (an hour a day right now), because sometimes the changes in a chapter are very small or very large, and it’s just not consistent enough for my personal tastes to do it that way. I do line edits/mechanical edits way later in the process. Those I do chapter-by-chapter, not by time.

Really, it’s just a trial-and-error sort of deal. It’s what you are able to wrap your mind around, and what gets the job done. It doesn’t have to be a “right” way, because there is no right way! It’s what works for you. :slight_smile: Some authors say they change their process every time they revise a new book! I’d suggest taking a look at TheCreativePenn’s website and podcast, if you haven’t already. She is like the guru of self-publishing, and she’s taught me a lot about the process of not only revisions, but the whole industry of self-pub!

i basically just read it a bunch, at different speeds and with breaks in between for freshness. i read it super fast to make sure it flows well and doesn’t snag on anything, i read it very slowly to comb through spelling errors and nitpicky technicalities, and then i just read it 1-3 more times normally to see if there’s any stragglers i missed the first times. i always read full chapters, and usually just 1 in a sitting, come back in a bit, read another. maybe 3-4 chapters a day, occasional breaks for a day. i try and keep the “work” moderately light and rely on repetition to find the flaws.

I highly recommend that you go on Twitter and search the following hashtags for editors. #amediting #amwriting #writingcommunity

You should hire a professional copyeditor after you are done with major revisions. (No, I’m not advertising my services, nor will you find me advertising on Twitter, either).

There’s a thing called manuscript blindness that is real. You really need a second set of eyes that are trained to catch redundancies, discrepancies, formatting, and grammar/mechanics issues.

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I second this! You will need a professional editor to go over your manuscript before you self-publish it. It can be expensive, but it’s worth it to have better sales and reader loyalty. I am planning to get at least two different kinds of editors (one developmental, one copy). I would recommend saving the editor for when you think you’ve done all you can on your own, though. Since they are expensive, it makes more sense to not have them correcting things you could have caught on your own.

I’m planning to self edit this book like I did with book 1 as I can’t find someone decent to pay. I plan to do this with every book I self publish.

That’s a risky strategy - if there are spelling and grammatical errors in your work some readers will be unforgiving and those negative reviews make sales harder, as that sort of complaint will completely turn off many readers. I know I won’t touch a book with reviews complaining about lack of editing. Some authors with incredibly strong grammar skills can get away without using an editor. Personally, I couldn’t do it. I always pay an editor and a proofreader. I’m not sure what you mean that you couldn’t find one? There are hundreds of editors out there. If you don’t have any personal recommendations then Reedsy is a good place to start.



Sorry, but you are not allowed to offer your services here, even if they are for free. What you CAN do, is PM somebody on the main, referring to a certain thread.
I had to delete your posts.

Thank you for your understanding,

Lina - Community Ambassador

It’s up to you! :slight_smile: It really depends on what your goals are as to what you’d like to do with editing. I’d suggest a professional editor if you are hoping to build a career with your self-publishing, because the people reading self-published books nowadays expect them to be at the same level as traditionally published books (which have multiple professional editors). It just evens the playing field for you, and increases your chance of getting better reviews.

If you are worried about being scammed or not finding a quality editor, try looking through the Alliance of Independent Author’s watchdog lists. TheCreativePenn also has an entire page devoted to where you can find professional editors on her website.

Creative Penn’s How To Find An Editor

Can you pm me? I got a very personal question to ask.

Well, what kind of personal question? I don’t mind answering writing questions, but I don’t want to get too personal online, if that’s all right. :slight_smile:

Questions about my writing.

Are you allowed to do excerpts on your book outside of kdp select?

It’s like 600 words I planned on doing.