Preparing Your Manuscript

preparing your manuscriptYou’ve finally done it… written your novel. It’s complete. All those words down in one place. And you’re no fool. You’ve got an editor all lined up.  But wait.

Is it really ready for the editor yet?

When you say it’s done, is this the best it can be or did you just finish your rough draft? If you just finished typing ‘The End,’ you’ve still got a lot of work to do before you’re ready for the editor. You’ve still got some revisions of your own to do after your rough draft. Maybe this scene isn’t the best it can be. Maybe Sally should have made a different decision after that first plot point, because if she did, the whole second act would have been so much more interesting. Maybe the climax of the story still needs some work because it’s good, but it’s still oh, I don’t know, it’s missing something.

Once you’ve wrestled with all of this and straightened it out, then it’s time for your trusted beta readers, or your mom, or whoever you feel will give you the best feedback. Once you get a copy back all covered in oil stains from your mechanic (because he has true literary insight, even though he messes up your manuscripts) and you hear his critique, you can go back, fix what you truly feel needs to be fixed, and then take one more look at it.  Are you finished preparing your manuscript yet?

When you think you can’t make it any better than it is, run it through spell check. I know it won’t catch everything (like words that are spelled correctly but used incorrectly), but it will save a few of the hairs left on your editor’s head. Look at it again. Have you dotted all your i’s? Crossed all your t’s? Do your sentences have punctuation and capital letters? If not, you may need to review some basics. If you know they belong there and just didn’t put them in, put them in. Do you really want to pay your editor extra to put them in for you?

Okay, now you can send your manuscript to your editor. Your editor will appreciate all of your hard work.

You know all those horror stories about editors? About how mean they are? How they’ll tear your manuscript to pieces? A lot of that stems from receiving manuscripts that were really rough drafts. That didn’t have sentences starting with capital letters. That didn’t have punctuation at the end of sentences. That had paragraphs that lasted for pages. Dialogue without meaning that went on and on. Missing plot points, garbled structure, cardboard characters, flip flopping between tenses and points of view, repetitive anything… After awhile, editors develop twitches. And headaches. And then they begin to morph into editing monsters that lash out uncontrollably at anything that passes by that even remotely resembles a manuscript. They can’t help themselves. They hoard red pens compulsively and growl at anyone who dares reach for one. (That’s MY red pen, damn it!)  Please, for the love of God, save an editor today! Prep your manuscript properly or we can’t be responsible for what may happen next! :::eye twitches:::

:::clears throat::: Okay. Sorry about that. But it had to be said. Writers, learn your craft. Hold your head high. Be proud of what you do. Step out and say, “Damn it, I’m a writer.” Own it. Be responsible for what you put on a page. Don’t get sloppy. It’s your name on the cover, not the editor’s.

It’s amazing what a difference it makes to get a manuscript that looks well prepared. Yes, there may be shallow characters, missing plot points, repetition, and flip flopping tenses, but presentation at least shows us that the author cares enough to make it look nice. Presentation can soothe a lot of ruffled editing feathers. Nice editor. There, there.

Once your book is edited, it’s up to you what you want to do with it. You can self-publish. You can submit your story to agents. If an agent accepts it, they will probably suggest their own edits and you’ll comply. Then when they sell your story to a publisher, they’ll also send you through another editing process.

Even so, it all comes back to you. You’re the one writing and preparing your manuscript. Do it with pride.

Shhh! Can’t Keep it a Secret!

Okay, I wasn’t going to post about our unpublished bundle sale, but dang it, I want to share the opportunity.

I don’t know exactly how long we’ll keep doing this special, so if it sounds good, jump on it, okay?

Normally, I charge by the word count when I edit or proofread. Not with this bundle special. This is why it is such a good deal.

In this bundle, you get the opportunity to have your book:

  • Line edited
  • Formatted as an ebook
  • Adorned with a book cover all its own
  • Free half hour chat with John Rakestraw on publishing, marketing, etc.

That’s right… all three services for one price. Just what is that price, you might ask? I won’t make you scroll down and sign up before I tell you… I hate that. :(

All this for only $650.

That’s right… just $650. Considering that some books cost that much or more just to edit, this is a real deal. Invest in your book and get it the polish and prep it needs to face the world.

Contact me using our form in the menu above and mention our $650 special, ‘kay?

If you act NOW!

We will throw in our Phone Consultation; How to Market, Brand and Start Your Platform for FREE!

That is a $97 bonus for FREE!

We truly want to help you. Right now my wife and I are going to offer you a FULL HOUR consultation; that is one-on-one, we want to help you develop your story idea and help you learn how to market, brand and start your platform.

What would YOU like help with?

  • Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing: Figure out which one is best for you
  • Book Concept: Figure out which book idea you have that has the greatest potential (or, improve your existing book premise so it becomes even more marketable)
  • Author Platform: Insider secrets to quickly improve your exposure and credibility Should You Try to Get Published? On a scale of 1 to 10, I’ll tell you what I think… and recommend your next steps

Plus there’s more for FREE…

These consultations are normally hundreds of dollars, but right now, for you my friend… all this, for FREE.  And (as an added bonus) I’m including, for FREE, 4 interviews with a friend of mine, writer and SEO expert David Amerland. He gives you FREE advice about how to best set yourself up for better placement on the search engines. That’s 4+ hours’ worth of training and consulting…


But you have to sign up NOW.

This deal can expire soon…  it’s first come, first served.

Plus, I will record our consultation as an mp3 sound file and send it to you on a thumb drive (flash drive). That way you will have access to our talk anytime you feel the need.

Another FREE Bonus!

You’ll Want To Turn Your Book into a Business: Discover how to leverage your book into new, multiple streams of income.

Hurry before this deal goes away!

The fine print: Offer valid on books that are 85,000 words or less. Longer books will cost a bit more. Contact me for a quote. Books should be in good shape; don’t send a book that needs major work, because all this offer gives is line editing, not full content editing. Books with tight deadlines will have a rush fee added to the total. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other special.