Yesterday I was honored to receive the fully-revised draft of my first novel from my editor, who over the past month painstakingly went through and corrected/standardized not only the spelling and grammar used throughout but also made suggestions for word order, scene breaks, and descriptions that could use more punch. I am simply blown away by the number and quality of revisions she made, and in almost every case I agree with her assessments and recommendations. The question I face now: where do I go from here?

Here’s an example of the work she put into my draft—adding additional margin notes to raise issues, reordering phrases to make the text flow more naturally, and minimizing my habit for over-explanation (telling, not showing). Some of the edits at first glance seemed almost trite, but after integrating them and rereading the page, I can see why they were made.

My editor (Kelly Cozy) did a fantastic job pointing out where my text could be improved, the nearly 200-page behemoth I hope to release as my first published novel. When I started compiling the story into a cohesive narrative I had envisioned going the self-publishing route, putting the book up on Amazon and trying to get sales by word of mouth. As I continued however I really started enjoying the idea of seeing my printed book on a store’s shelves, particularly as local bookstores are very local-writer-friendly.

In order to have my book appear in a physical marketplace like Copperfield’s or Barnes & Nobles, I have to find an agent and/or a publishing company that’s willing to take a gamble on my story. It stretches out the time to publish, but it also breeds some measure of respectability—in many circles self-published titles still aren’t seen as equivalent to traditional publishing. I suppose, behind everything, it would be a much larger boost to my own ego if a publishing shop were to pick up my novel rather than me flinging it online.

I’ve reached out to a local bookstore manager to ask for his advice in where I should go from here (namely, how to find an agent and where to start approaching a publisher), but I also don’t want to get ahead of myself; after all, I have to actually sit down and make the adjustments and changes that Kelly suggested first.