The story behind the story, part three: It’s finished. Or is it?

Getting it ready for beta readers

Getting the book on training a young Icelandic horse ready for beta readers

March 2021: Editing, and the first two readers

After almost four months, I’ve finally managed to finish a full editing pass from start to finish.
The book now has a second part in addition to the diary of daily progress in Helgi's training: I've boiled down what I learned during that year into a series of tips that helped me with training my young and spirited horse.


The result still feels far from ready, but I think that by now it is coherent enough to let someone read through it. Or rather, two someones: One of course is my trainer Johanna Tryggvason, who so far has seen single chapters, and who has faithfully been answering my barrage of questions, but hasn’t read the whole thing yet. The other is my long-suffering husband, who dutifully reads everything I write.

June 2021: Ready!

As usual, life interfered, and the second round of edits didn’t go anywhere near as fast as I had hoped. But now, both Johanna’s and my husband’s feedback has been worked in, and I’m happy enough with the result to send it out to some friends who have promised to beta read it.

And then I school myself in patience and try not to worry too much while I wait for feedback.

August 2021: Whew, they like it!

First feedback has come in from all the beta readers. They’ve all read the first few chapters, and they all think it’s both informative and entertaining. Yay!

My trainer Johanna Tryggvason reads the book, as do some of my friends, all leisure riders like me

Waiting for feedback from beta readers can be nerve-wrecking

December 2022: The beta readers are silent

After that first round of positive feedback, my beta readers have gone silent. All of them have stopped after that first round of reading. And all of them assure me that they really did like the book: It’s just that life interfered – they didn’t stop reading because they got bored with the book, hand to heart.

I nod, and secretly fear that yes, they did get bored with the book after all.

The only one who has worked her way through the whole thing (and found an embarrassing amount of nits to fix) is my mother. She loves the book, but then, that’s her job as my loving parent, isn’t it?

March 2022: The beta readers come through

I’ve nagged my beta readers, and they all resumed reading. Feedback comes in, and it’s still positive!

Everyone has read the thing through to the end, and lots of great suggestions have trickled in. Everyone assures me that they found the book entertaining and easy to read.


One reader especially liked a scene where I went on a rather nerve-wrecking walk with a rather tense and unruly Helgi.

Yay, something good has come from that unplanned adventure after all!


Commence edits, again.

A scene from the book on horse training: taking an unruly young horse on a walk

Young Icelandic horse Helgi at the start of his first year of training

May 2022: Finally, it’s ready

After another couple of rounds of edits, the book is ready to be submitted to publishers – or as ready as I will ever get it, at least.


Now comes the next phase:

Researching publishers that might be interested in the book, researching the best way to present a non-fiction work to publishers (what the heck is an exposure, and how do I write one?), and finally, actually submitting the book to the first publisher.


Will it find a good home, I wonder?

If you'd like to read more about the process of writing a book, stay tuned!


The next installment will talk about finding a publisher, with all the research and proposal-writing that implied. Not to mention submissions and rejections.


Believe me, that process was nerve-wrecking!

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