How long to edit a book?

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  1. tsmog profile image80
    tsmogposted 3 years ago

    How long to edit a book?

    To those who have edited a book . . . how long do you allow for editing a book. The book I wrote is a business book with a lot of mathematical details too. I have let it digest for about five months now seeking to gain an objective perspective and am now realizing positive changes for editing it.

  2. Tusitala Tom profile image67
    Tusitala Tomposted 3 years ago

    My first book, an adventure story, was finished - I thought - in 1968.   I trotted it out again and again over the years, editing, adding a sub-plot, so that by the time the book was eventually finished and all editing done, a good thirty years had passed.   

    And yes, you're right.  It was never published.  No rejection slips as such, just letters saying "It's not what we're after at the moment," et cetera.  Even a few critiques and comparisons with other authors - but no acceptances.  But that's life.

    Point I'm making, and it's not original to me.  Write a work, edit, edit again.  Put it aside in a draw for at least six months, then get it out and edit it again.
    That way the 'objective perspective' is strong enough to override any ego ownership of how it should 'take the world by storm.'

    So how long to edit a book?   As long or as short a time as you wish it to take.

    1. tsmog profile image80
      tsmogposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you Tom. The book I wrote was non-fiction & audience specific of a business genre. The audience received it well and with praise, yet I know not of other readership. I have tried to edit it. I think your advice to let it percolate is sound.

  3. Kathleen Cochran profile image82
    Kathleen Cochranposted 3 years ago

    I do three drafts of a book.  The first I don't edit at all.  The second two I do after a time away from the work for the exact reason Tim described.  Then I send it out to at least three readers for corrections, questions, and any passages that are awkward to read.  I only use a self-publishing platform that allows changes for free because I've found errors and made additions even after all this effort and the book has gone live. 

    The hardest thing about writing is knowing when the work is finished!  Good luck!

    1. tsmog profile image80
      tsmogposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed. I think I need to stop trying to Edit and just let the chips fall where they may. I have given the book to the specific audience I wrote it for. No suggestions were made and it is displayed prominently at his desk. Maybe It needs not editing.

  4. alancaster149 profile image83
    alancaster149posted 3 years ago

    How long is a piece of string?
    I write historical fiction, between five and ten pages a 'session' - depending on how much checking I need to do for different reasons - five days a week and take weekends off aside from checking e-mails. The common denominator between your writing and mine is it's got to make sense, and it's got to read right. What the market demands is probably poles apart. I have a lot of dialogue in my writing, so some pages are lighter than others.
    How long you take to edit might be dependent on how long you took to write the book, and the page count. You might have taken great pains in the first place to reduce the editing stage.
    My MSS page count generally comes to around the 700 mark, more or less - I'm on book six in a saga series - and I'll take a fortnight or so to go through it, then pass it for publishing.

    1. tsmog profile image80
      tsmogposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      You are a teacher for me Alan Robert Lancaster :-) The time period your work occurs within is the time period I wish to write my fictional work as well as being within the local too. I hope to be able to focus on that adventure soon. Thank you!

  5. M. T. Dremer profile image93
    M. T. Dremerposted 3 years ago

    It really depends on the length of the book and its genre. The first novel I wrote (an epic fantasy) took 10 years from start to completion. But that's when I was just starting out as a writer. Now I can write a draft in a few months and edit it over the course of one year. Though, to be fair, I would probably be faster if I sat down and focused more often than I do. Life is full of distractions.

    1. tsmog profile image80
      tsmogposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I have a challenge with self-editing the first book I wrote. It is specific to a particular audience and probably will not be published. Firstly, it was gift to that specific audience. I have tried to edit it. I think I need to let is simmer.

  6. CheloB profile image60
    CheloBposted 3 years ago

    As an editor, it depends on a lot of things:

    * Did I write the book myself? Let it sit until I've forgotten what I wrote.
    * Is it fiction or non-fiction?  There's a lot more fact-checking for me in non-fiction.
    * Which edit is it?  There's a developmental edit (sometimes called the beta-reader edit) which is for the big picture.  That's the one that takes the most editing. I tend to just rewrite it. Next is the line-edit, when you catch all the piddling little mistakes we all make. Finally, there's the proofread to catch the typos.  I'm pretty fast, but ten pages an hour is a fast edit, so figure no more than 2500 words per hour.
    * How well was it written in the first place? Face it, some people just write cleaner copy. If it's clean, it may only take one good edit and a quick skim for proofreading.

    Basically, it takes as long as it takes. There's no hard and fast rule because each book is different.

    1. tsmog profile image80
      tsmogposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Wow! Very educational, very much appreciated, and I offer a big thank you :-) I ponder the relationship between author and editor and when that begins. With book completion or as part of the process? hmmmm . . . something I shall consider.


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