Saturday, January 17, 2009

An Author Completes Substantive Edits

(What's outside my window: A pure blue sky. Misty clouds above the rim of the mountains in the distance. Snow is predicted for tonight. There are always crystal blue skies in Maryland before a snowstorm.)

The second phase of editing is over. As with the macro edits, when I received the file for the substantive edits, I was nervous. I had no idea how much red or the amount of track changes I would find. I was surprised. It was not dripping in red, and the process was relatively easy.

This phase was given over to another editor, Jenny. She asked me to accept or reject changes. I've come a long way learning the ropes on how to use Word, but this was one feature I did not know how to use. So I emailed her and asked if we could speak. What a sweetheart. She called me within ten minutes, and walked me through the process. And what fun working on track changes it was!

Editors are our advocates. At least that is what I've experienced so far. So do not fear them. They are there to help. Some writers bulk at changes to their manuscripts, not wanting to change one jot or tittle. Do not allow yourself to be one of those writers. A good editor will help you polish your novel to a high sheen.

Barbara, my acquisitions editor, is a gentle leader. She is incredibly patient and encouraging, and not remiss to point out the good things about my writing along with weakness which she has shown me how to correct. She is worth her weight in gold. Jenny prefaced the edits with support. She told me it had been a pleasure to read Surrender the Wind, that I am 'a great writer with a knack for beautiful scene description'. She went on to tell me the revisions were light because I had implemented the macro edits so well. When I opened the file, I was delighted to see that the changes were mostly comma placement, hyphens, some typos etc. I was given a week to finish, but it only took me a day.

Now Surrender the Wind is with a copy editor.

Meanwhile, Abingdon is working on the marketing of their fiction line. My novel and one other will be the first out of the starting gate in August. The purpose of InSpire has been to journal about the process of production. I'll share about the copy edit phase next. But I will not be lax in sharing with my readers the marketing and promotional aspect that my publisher and I will be working on.

I have a saying: Marketing is getting your book into the hands of readers. Promotion is building a name, an image.

So get ready for it. Marketing and Promotion are often daunting to writers. Believe me, it can be a blast, and I'll show you how in upcoming blogs. Don't get me wrong though. It is also hard work.

Pop on over to Stepping Stones Magazine for Writers. I'll be posting marketing tools there as well.



Stepping Stones Magazine for Writers:


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rita -

I've read that an author should start working on platform 2-3 years before their book is launched. Can you give us some tips on how to establish name recognition, etc.?

Susan :)

Jessica said...

Yay! It's with the copyeditor!!!
Congrats on finishing. :-) I'm looking forward to hearing about the marketing side of things.

Inspire said...

Hi Susan and Jessica.

The pair of you are so sweet. Your comments keep me writing this blog. I have posted an article in Stepping Stones (the link is on this blogs page) about Platform Building. It's part 1. Yes, I'll be sharing about the marketing of Surrender the Wind. Look for a post this week.


P.S. I do read both of your blogs and enjoy them very much.

Bonnie Toews said...

Hi Rita,

As always I look forward to reading your "journals" as you go through the editing process.

My first novel is now out in Poland under the title, "Checkmate Treason."I have to trust that it was well translated.

I'm just starting to learn how to network--a little shy doing this because I am an introvert at heart. Thanks for all your encouragement.

Hugs, Bonnie

Amy Deardon said...

Rita, congratulations! When is your novel coming out?

I'm looking forward to your next post on the copyeditor :-)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rita -

I've given you the Premio-Dardas award. For details, check out my post tomorrow.

I appreciate the glimpses into the life of a historical writer, as well as the practical tips.

Susan :)