A novel is never created alone forever by one person. It takes an unexpected team of people who believe in the final piece that will be put up on store shelves. How the author is found to gather that team usually goes like this.
Draft 1 – Written by the author alone.
Draft 2 – Basic edits, spell check, punctuation, sentence structure. Things that catch their eye quickly with some notes for further deeper fixes later.
Draft 3 – Sent off to Beta Readers to find any hiccups in the wording, plot and flow. To see if the basics of the story are enjoyable. I had three beta readers at this stage for book 1.
Draft 4 – More Beta Readers to find bigger edit issues. I had four other new beta readers for this stage. One found the critical mistakes that I suspected. We brainstormed to reposition these mistakes for book 2. I then went through the edits that were found and fixed them. Next, I sent it off to a friend, who has currently stalled at her edits/beta reading process due to medical issues, but she isn’t off the case completely. She’ll return when she is fully able. Then one found basics that were not workable to give a stiff idea of what really needed to be fixed. I knew there was far more issues because I know the story inside and out. Then a fourth one for this round, and he’s still working on it right now.
Draft 5 – hopefully a professional editor that can do their part to finally clean it up totally. Then I will send it off to querying for an agent.
Thing is, that Draft 5 stage has hit a snag. I just started working in retail again. Reason – I must pay for my own professional editor. This will cost me $2,500.00 at least for developmental edits. (Yes, I am strongly aware of free editors. However, there is a level of deadline I’m looking for and full professionalism that must be met. I’m far too wary to risk someone filly farting around. It is NOT a slight of anyone in this position to do their craft for free for a future author. It is only that I believe strongly that my work needs a full paid professional hand.) This means any major mistakes will have to be cleaned up before it ever is sent out to querying. It has to be nearly publishing ready. It’s the physical representation of the final product in an interview form, as it were.
Since I just started working for Bartell Drug Store the hours have been seriously slashed to everyone. This means my hours, being part time, I would either work one day a week to two days a week so far. The store manager does not know when hours will pick back up to normal levels. Meaning, I don’t know when I will have 25 to 38 hours a week.
Now that the new minimum wage for Washington state is $15 an hour, and I’m making $16.40 an hour, which is the most I’ve ever had in my life in start pay, because my hours are so drastically cut it will take three times as long to save up $2,500.00 for my editor.
$16.40 an hour x 9 hours per week = $147.60 (before taxes)
Now, let’s say these slashed hours go on for 4 months. $147.60 x 18 weeks (4 months) = $2,656.80 (before taxes)
Now, the drastic thing I could do, once Tim my current beta reader is finished and I’ve fixed the edits he’s found, I could send the manuscript into querying to see how it goes. BUT…if I do that and the manuscript is rejected by all agents (36 I’m going to send this to when the time is right) I would not be able to send the manuscript out again until a professional editor has gone through it. Even then I wouldn’t be able to send it out until the following year, which would continue to slow me down in getting this book into the hands of a publisher. (No, I do not want to self-publish simply because I cannot afford it on all fronts of the process. I’m going after traditional publishing because I know what I have created.)
I very well could take that serious risk and send it to querying in a few weeks to see how it goes. It may be picked up by an agent or two. Who knows? Stranger things have happened to new authors like myself. It is a risk I don’t want to take until I figure out what my work hours are going to be in the next few weeks.
I have had the odd thought on doing a GoFundMe for paying for my editor, but something seems off to me about that. Almost a disrespect to my own person. I’m not sure I would put myself at such a level. It’s not shame. It’s a principle of myself for my manuscripts for the path that must be taken.
While on the sales floor or register I must always remind myself I have this job so I can pay for an editor. I have no other choice because my boyfriend isn’t able to pay for my editor due to financial restraints on property tax, three main constant bills, gas and food, ya know the basics. We in this household are just the two of us. We are working poor. And now I have to do what I can to make my dreams of becoming a published author the only way I know how – nose to the grindstone in editing and working my manuscripts to perfection as far as I can take them and working as many part time hours that are available to me to create a paycheck to put into savings.
There is on other way to do this and I will NOT give up!