You've probably heard (more than a few times) that you need an editor. Well, you're going to hear it again.
Nothing kills interest more than a novel full of errors. Errors make the reader stumble through a passage, pauses or stops the flow, and causes repeated reading of a sentence. If your first chapter is full of them, interest wanes and most readers (like myself) will stop reading the book. Maybe you're thinking that it's okay because the person's already bought the book but in reality word-of-mouth advertisement is golden.
So, once you're done writing your masterpiece, find an editor. I don't mean find a friend or a family member or a person who likes to read. I mean find an editor. Someone who will go through your book and know the ins and outs of grammatical rules. I have an English degree. I teach grammar and writing and I'm ashamed to say that I had so many errors in my first book that I seriously wondered if I knew anything about grammar.
But if you're like me, you write without thinking. You just write.
It's okay to write and get your next best-selling novel out of your head. It's important for you to focus on the creative aspects and worry about all the little things after you've got the book complete.
Writing for me, as I've said before, was the easy part. Editing and revising is a tedious, horrible, and consuming job - but one that has to be done.
I was blessed to have an editor that really knew what she was doing. I'll give you her email address at the bottom of the post but I can't stress enough to find someone who knows editing.
After you find an editor and he/she rifles through your novel with a fine tooth comb, find someone else. Now you can go to those friends and family who are willing to give you honest and sometimes brutal advice on structure and plot. Have them look for errors at the same time because editors are human and they will miss a few things. The more people who've checked your novel before it goes into print - the better. I gave my novel to several people and they found a major error that would have really hurt had it gotten published.
Beg and plead to those around you to help you read through your novel. Buy them something nice, make them dinner, put their names on the acknowledgements page - anything it takes.
Here at Greli Publishing we have a wonderful editor. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send her a brief summary, number of words, and expected publishing date. She will send you a price.
Be sure to come back next week when we cover ISBNs.