First of all, there is no magic round of edits you should do. You're done when you can't find anything else to change to make it better. Always take into consideration what the beta readers say to you about your work. They aren't there to put you down or anything. Its nothing personal. Its only about the story. So if they happen to say its bad, thank them and get back to work. If they praise you, on the other hand, double thank them and pat yourself on the back.
Getting a beta reader is great practice for dealing with a editor with a publisher. If you can find one that's "free" keep him or her. You can also pay to have someone professionally edit your work. Just be sure to edit yourself first so you have the opportunity to learn. You do learn by doing.
Your story is your baby. You've put in a lot of sweat and hard work. You've underwent stress and heartache, now its time to polish it and let your baby shine. If you really want to know how good your story is, let others read it once you feel confident that its perfect. Don't ask them to edit now, just ask them to read it and let you know what they think about it. This can be a positive boost for your ego lol if the story is great. Never settle for just one person to look over your story. The power number is 3 (or more). 3 beta readers, 3 enjoyment readers. If they all say the same thing, you're on the right road.
The reasoning for this is one set of eyes is great, more than one is better because what one misses, another will catch. Like I said, this is your baby, you want nothing less than perfect. Perfection comes from hard work and getting all you can to help make that happen. But always work on it yourself first before asking others to help. Again, this is how you learn. Then when others are helping you, look at their comments with an open mind. Ask yourself why they said that or why would they want to change this or that.
The last round of edits are usually the easiest because you've already done all the hard work before this stage. A power of relief comes over you and you may feel exhilarated in some way. Pat yourself on the back and treat yourself to something nice as an award. Do this after you've finished each step of the writing process. When you get used to this, you begin to look forward to writing and its rewards. Just don't undercut yourself to get to the reward phase lol.
Writing takes 100% of yourself, body and mind. Don't ever give any less. That's why rewarding yourself can be important. It lets you unwind so you're able to take on the next book and do this all over again.
And now we're ready for the questions part of the seminar again. Please ask me anything. There are no stupid questions. I'm only here to make you better or help you get to the first part of growing. Good luck to you.
Tomorrow, we start talking about the publishing phase and marketing. If you're not at this point yet, you will get there. Just keep writing, editing, and writing until you're ready. Then this part will be waiting for you!