Self-Publishing for Teens – Part 1: Edit Your Book

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This may seem obvious, but this is really important. Your book needs to be good, not perfect, but good. My first book was definitely not perfect. It had typos and other issues, but it was a lot better than the first draft.

Please, I beg you. Do not finish your rough draft and say, “This is perfect. Now I just have to upload this to Amazon and it’ll be a snap.”

Your rough draft may be good, or great, but there is a reason that it’s called a rough draft. They are usually rife with problems. Mine certainly was! At the end of the first draft I had about 29,000 words, by the time the book was finished, it was slightly over 45,000 words long! I added acknowledgements, a table of contents, and bibliography, but still, that’s a large difference in word count.

If possible have another person look at you manuscript. Maybe a parent, friend, or relative. Ideally, one which knows grammar and punctuation. They can spot errors that you could have missed.

Tip: Don’t be rushed. Give yourself plenty of time. It was the night before my deadline and my book still needed to be proofread. It still had a lot of errors.  My mom (she was my editor) stayed up, proofing the manuscript. Don’t do that!

Tip 2: Don’t be afraid to go back and fix typos after you’ve published the book. Especially in the Kindle format. I’ve changed the files like four times.

Tip 3: Try to find all typos and fix all of your mistakes before you publish, but don’t expect your first book to be perfect. It’s an accomplishment just to publish a book at your age.

Tip 4: Don’t get too hung up on errors and mistakes (like I often am). You don’t want errors, but it’s worse not to write. Find and fix errors, learn from your mistakes, and make your next book even better.

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” – Henry Ford

Don’t stop writing. Don’t stop improving. Always keep learning.

I hope this post was helpful and encouraging, please post any questions or comments. (If it was helpful please tell your friends about this blog. I would really appreciate it!)

Writing for His glory,

David B. Hunter

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