As I work through my final edit of Hardship & Devotion, I am both exhausted and relieved that the process is almost over. This novel, which I started back in 2012, has been something of a learning project for me. In my excitement to publish, I let my judgement become clouded and the novel was published with too many mistakes. I pride myself on being something of a perfectionist, which is why I decided to do a complete revision of the novel.
When I decided to publish through Trafford Publishing, I was thrilled when they told me they offered an editing service. I figured, why not? It would save me the time and I was interested to see what their editors had to say about my work. Now, when you hear the words “editing service,” what are your thoughts? If you are anything like me, you might find yourself thinking of phrases like, “zero mistakes,” “perfect grammar,” or “polished manuscript.”
As my email went “ping” and told me I’d had a new email, I was elated to find my “edited manuscript” in my inbox. Granted, it was covered with plenty commentary and red markings to show my mistakes. It was what I’d expected from an editing service, yet my first thought was “Holy crap! I suck at writing!” Then I began to look through the pages and found most of them to be minor grammatical errors and typos I’d missed. I felt better about myself afterward.
In the excitement of wanting my novel out there for all to read, I pressed “ACCEPT” to all changes and signed my name on the dotted line. Worst thing I ever did. Before I knew it, I had copies of my novel being sent to my home and reviews coming in. It was one review that made me pause, especially when I read these words: “In her first novel, McKaylin shows the promise of a talented and thoughtful writer. I sensed that in her enthusiasm and excitement to publish, she may have rushed to print. But if Hardship & Devotion is ever reprinted, the scattered typographical errors in her manuscript will be easily corrected.”
If any of you have ever heard such words about your writing, you can only imagine how my stomach turned. I was a mess. The first thing I did was open up my book and read it cover to cover, and found that there were mistakes clear through it. I nearly gave up, completely daunted by what would be needed to fix the mess. And here we are, two years later, and it’s just now nearly finished.
I will say this about Trafford Publishing, they are helping me fix the issue with professionalism. I know that this is mostly my fault, seeing as I didn’t take the time to go through and combed through their suggestions thoroughly. The excitement got the best of me.
I learned quite a valuable lesson. Not only is one edit not enough, but I quickly learned what a beta-reader was and why they are so important. Three wonderful women have beta-read Hardship & Devotion, as well as have there been three separate edits completed. I still cannot believe the trouble I’ve had to go through to fix my mistake, but I know that all the blood, sweat and tears will have all been worth it in the end. I’m proud to call this novel mine, and can’t wait for the finished product to be reprinted and available for all to share.