There is nothing as helpful and useful as having someone else look at your work, especially if you are sitting beside them.
I went to see my publisher (that sounds so exciting – and it is!) on Friday and we looked at the three books I’m having published for reluctant readers; it was so useful to look through her eyes at my work… suddenly I saw that a frame I had put round one cover didn’t work, the colour of font on another cover was hopeless, and the positioning of a text box was not right… all tiny things but they leapt off the page at me as they hadn’t done when I spent hours working on them.
We went through the text s well, and layout, and again the little things she noticed and commented on, as suggestions not criticism made so much sense and yet I hadn’t noticed them before. Just talking through my work brought up a couple of really useful ideas, a table of contents for one book, and an explanation of how it worked, the font used in another… It really was as if I had a new pair of editorial specs perched on my nose.
The text editing was useful, but the covers are crucial – that’s what my prospective readers will first see!