Step 5: Begin organizing and revising your book

Where step 4 focused on looking outward, analyzing and taking note of authors in a genre similar to yours, step 5 is heavy on organizational processes and editing. It’s easiest to start this step after giving yourself some time away from your manuscript. Fresh eyes always edit best.

Ask yourself some high-level questions about what could make your book stand apart from its predecessors. Does your book employ any of the following elements?

  • Unique, unconventional or effective organization
  • Storytelling that uses vernacular that connects with an untapped/overlooked audience
  • Exceptional insight, research or data on an overlooked topic
  • Distinctive insight into a popular topic that reaches or stirs readers in new ways

I’ve always found it’s easiest to analyze and edit books in this order: