I am fortunate enough to have a handful of people to whom I can send my manuscripts and receive useful feedback of the kind that would cost me a lot of money if I hired a structural editor.
The feedback has highlighted all the niggling doubts I had about the novel and if this handful of people has doubts about areas I myself have questioned then the chances of these being issues for readers when I publish the book is very high so they need to be fixed. The changes are fundamental enough for me to put the cover designs on hold as the very theme of the novel and therefore the title may change.
I was disappointed to discover that despite having gone through the manuscript twice with Grammarly, my readers still identified a number of grammatical errors. I don’t know whether this is because Grammarly hadn’t saved the changes or because I clicked ‘ignore’ on suggestions I really shouldn’t have done. Either way, I am trying to get another free week of Grammarly Premium to check the entire manuscript again. If I can’t get another free trial then I’ll just have to pay. There is a one month trial period so, if I discover that Grammarly is to blame then I can always unsubscribe.
I really should send the novel to a professional proofreader but at this stage, I don’t have the budget. I would rather spend money on a decent cover design and take my risks with the content which I am obviously trying to get to as high a standard as I can on my budget. Despite the saying, people do judge a book by its cover.
I feel the prospect of another re-write a bit daunting but I accept that it is absolutely necessary before I can release my work on the general public who will not be as forgiving as my friends and family.
Having set myself a pretty low daily word count of 429 on my third novel, I can reach this target while traveling to and from work on the metro which means I can dedicate the time between when I get home and when my wife arrives to re-write the first novel.
Meanwhile, the second novel is currently being read by my trusted group. I shudder to think what structural changes they will suggest but my mind remains open because I know that they will be right.
On top of all this, I keep tweeting, blogging and updating my facebook page in an attempt to build some kind of organic following which will be my springboard from which to launch the first novel once it is ready.
In preparation, I have set up my accounts with Kindle Direct Publishing and Direct2digital. Very exciting.