I was at my local writers’ group last night when a discussion began about the creation of e-Books. There were some members who remain mildly sceptical about them, but most people agree that the ability to create an e-Book is an essential skill for any writer with even the most modest of ambitions.
However, there was a unanimous element of caution in this view. There are far too many badly written and almost entirely unedited e-Books in the world already. As a courtesy to the potential reader, you – like any writer – must undertake some essential work on their writing before converting their document in to an e-Book.
Everyone present at the writers’ group agreed that when a writer wants to make their work available to a wider audience, that writer must review their words. There was some variation in how much reviewing should be done, but we all agreed that to present written work in the raw without so much as a spell-check is certain to lead to disappointment for the author. We agreed that
- authors must check the spelling of the written work, with an eye on their potential audience due to the differences seen in different national views on the English language
- authors have to check the grammar and punctuation of their work
- authors should check the timeline of their masterpiece, to ensure that the nub of the plot is not given away too early, for example.
- authors must be sure that they have not changed the name of their characters part way through the story, or transposed people into new and incompatible roles
- authors should be sure that they do have a story, and not just a collection of sub-plots without coherence
How many revisions
Overall, we agreed that no writer should consider submitting their book as an e-Book without revision. The number of total revisions you need to make will depend on the length of the book and on the style and context of your writing. However, every one of us agreed that a single revision is insufficient. If you, as a writer want to have any degree of credibility, and to sell your books. multiple revisions are needed, probably reaching into double digits. Only then will your writing be ready to submit to the world, but even then you will do well to submit it to other eyes before you unleash its potential.
Finally, you should seriously consider asking a professional to proofread or edit your writing, or at least an experienced writer. Their comments become invaluable learning tools, helping you to become a better author, and leading you one step closer to becoming a well-known author.