Writing a book is the process of writing a draft, revising the draft, and writing again. An author once told me that writing a book is like making a sculpture; you are constantly carving away at your slab/manuscript until it is a beautiful work of art. The only difference is that while a sculpture begins with a slab, authors have to create their slab which is their first draft. Your first draft is meant to be revised and edited and changed drastically, like a slab becoming a sculpture.
But not everyone has the budget to hire an editor. What are ways that you can revise your manuscript at little to no cost? Here are my top suggestions:
Use books to help you revise. There are so many books available that are really great resources for writers in the revision process. And they are free at the library! Or you can buy your copy to write and make marks inside. Before you look to anyone else for feedback, do your own revisions. Getting tools to help you is vital! Here is another blog post of books I recommend to help you along the revision process.
Find a good critique group. I think you need more than a critique partner, you need an entire critique group. One critique partner gives you the opinion of one person, the insight of one person, and I don't want you to put stock on only one person's feedback. Getting a critique group allows you to get feedback from several people, several perspectives, and often times discussions around your book may happen as different people interpret your work differently. Here is another blog post about how to find a critique group.
Get beta readers. What are beta readers? Think of it this way: when a company is launching a new product, they may test a prototype with a focus group before they launch. Similarly, tech companies will get beta users when testing an app before launching to the public. Lastly, a new restaurant may do a soft launch to test a limited menu before opening to the public for regular hours and a full menu. Getting beta readers is no different for an author. Find a group of readers that are in your target audience and ask them to read one of the drafts. Using Facebook to organize a group is helpful.
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These are all really great ways to get your manuscript through the revision process. Nonetheless, if you can afford it, I highly encourage getting an editor to review your final draft! Even if it is only for the sake of proofreading for errors, an editor is valuable and can add that polished feel to your book. The options listed above are very affordable and very useful alternatives to an editor!
As always, I wish you the best in your writing endeavors! Was this helpful? If you want more articles and resources like these, join my email list to receive my free Self-Publishing From Start To Finish Guide.