Friday, January 03, 2014

The first edits from my publisher

I didn't know what to expect when my first edits arrived for the book that is about to be published. My editor emailed me when my book was contracted to tell me she would be working on the edits. Last week, her email arrived in my mailbox with that paper-clip thing letting me know something was attached.

I have always read blogs from new writers and heard them say they are on deadline and working on their edits. I always wondered about the kind of edits. Were they entire rewrites or what?

So when mine arrived, I didn't know what to expect.

My editor is someone I respect even more because she is a writer too. Her encouraging words in the past when she accepted my submission always gave me the confidence I needed to move forward.

In her email, she suggested a few changes I should make that could make the book stronger. She also told me she had changed other words because of editorial guidelines that each publishing house has of their own. I tended to use "okay" whereas "OK" is the acceptable format for this publisher.

All in all, her email to me sounded doable. Then I opened the attachment. Fortunately I was familiar with Track Changes and after a little trial and error found that when  I made changes, my text came out brown, a different color than the changes the editor already made. Probably most writers know this but honestly, I never used the program this way before.

Last week, I read through the entire book and addressed the small changes.Today I worked on  parts that required longer editing. Over the next couple of weeks, I plan to read the book several more times to be sure anything creative I want to add, I do now.

What hit me most as I read my words and see the changes that have been made, is the acute awareness that others besides my Beta readers, editor and writing partners will be reading this book. I now look at every word much differently than I might a blog post or Facebook post. People will pay money to read my book and I want them to feel they got their money's worth.

Question:  Do you think about paying readers as you write?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

If I thought about that, I would lock up tighter than Fort Knox!!!

So anxious to hold the book in my hands.

Shirley

Carol Garvin said...

I don't think of them as 'paying readers', but I do acknowledge that others may one day read my words and I want them to be as good as I can make them. I love the idea of an agent or editor offering suggestions that will help reach that goal.

Like Shirley, I couldn't be creative while staying conscious of making my early drafts pleasing to someone else.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I'm so happy for you, Terri! Being an author requires a shift in how you think and approach the creative process. I'm still getting my "author legs."

When I'm writing, I focus first and foremost on the story and then on the mechanics. If I get those two elements right, the reader will respond.

carla stewart said...

Congrats on getting to this stage!! Yes, it's frightening and reassuring all at the same time. The first time I got the track changes, I was nearly petrified to make any changes at all! It sounds like you've gone about it the way I do - small items first, then the biggies. And reading several times. Then holding your breath until copy edits come. It's very humbling to me, even now, to know how many people have invested their time and expertise in my books. I'm so thrilled for you!!

Karen Lange said...

So excited for you! I do think about the readers when I write, and try to take care in that respect. Learning as I go, just like you! :)

Joanne Sher said...

Wow. What a perspective! Love looking in as you work like this - thanks for the peek! And, of course, so very excited for you!

Deb Shucka said...

How very cool that you're in this place. It seems a particular blessing that you have an editor like yours.

Warren said...

Exciting moment! You have worked on this for a long time! God bless.

Hope your Christmas and New Year were wonderful.

Emily said...

It's been a long time since I've stopped by your blog (I don't think you had a publisher then!), so I'm so glad I saw this post! I'm not where you are yet, but I love knowing you're succeeding! Congratulations and God bless. :)

Lynda R Young said...

It did change my perspective when I started writing for a real audience, rather than a dream. It makes it both more scary and exciting and I found I was less likely to say, 'near enough is good enough'.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with your book!

Nikki (Sarah) said...

I am so inspired by your determination and your journey to publish. I am cheering for you Terri as your dream is being realized.

Cheryl Klarich said...

What a marathon!! Great work, Terri!