Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Painful Process to Publication

The editing process is under way on my upcoming young adult novel. The publisher sent the manuscript to an editor, and after a thorough read, it was returned to me to make corrections for typos, missed or misused words, punctuation, style points, and to consider story suggestions.

It can be a humbling experience, especially when you stare -- make that glare -- at your precious creation on the computer screen and wonder: "How did that slip through?" It can be very frustrating, perhaps a bit stressful, and somewhat embarrassing. 

After the initial shock wears off, and you've made numerous fixes, you're grateful the editor found the mistakes, even if they're more than you want to see. You may even discover a few mistakes the editor didn't catch. But the bottom line is getting things right before publication, no matter how hard or painful it is.

It's practically impossible for a writer to find all the mistakes in a novel-length manuscript. When proofreading, a writer will often read words that aren't there. Sometimes you'll have a same-sounding word -- a homonym -- that doesn't make sense in the story. And spell check doesn't guarantee you'll find everything.  

While some may take offense to story suggestions, these can be especially helpful when the editor also puts on a "reader" hat. You certainly don't want readers to have questions about scenes in a story. And remember: they're only suggestions. You have the creative control.

After I return the manuscript, the editor will give it one more read and then pass it on to a senior editor, who will going over it as well. If there are any more corrections, it'll be sent back to me to make the fixes.  

When everything looks right, I'll be sent a galley proof for one last read. I hope I won't find typos or anything major, but if I do, this will be the last opportunity to make things right before it becomes a...BOOK! 

I've also been working with the cover artist. I was sent a draft cover  that captured the essence of the story. I provided her with some additional input, so that process should be completed in a few weeks.

Until the next time...   


  1. Well Michael, as you said it can be a humbling experience, and even though is not pleasant at all! (I know it too well!) all of this always help to be better and improve your work, but also is very hard to do it all alone! I have publish a few things in spanish of course because my English is awful, and what helped me to have a more polished work was to give the manuscript to beta readers, so you may consider doing that, plus its a lot of fun, but I know you can do it!!!! you are an amazing writer! comeone! you are almost in the finish line!!!! just push a bit more!!! best wishes Eliz :D

  2. Thanks, Elizabeth. My editor is like a beta reader because she also provides valuable feedback. I've completed that process with her, now the manuscript is in the hands of a senior editor. When she returns the galley proof to me, it will get one more read. Almost at the finish line! Have a great day.