State of the Union (aka: What I’ve Been Up To)

You might have noticed that I’ve been quiet on the blog and elsewhere lately. I’ve taken a couple of weeks to catch my writerly breath, so to speak. It’s been a pretty hectic time for me since the release of Stalking the Others. I changed up my promotional plan for it by doing that blog tour, and that put me behind on almost everything else–books, editing, beta reads, email–which I’m still going to be behind on, though I’m making progress on tackling the pile. With the addition of other unexpected life things, it’s been a heck of a time for me these last few months, but I’ve still got plans for some new books and a lot more work ahead of me.

Even though I’m about to turn in Forsaken by the Others, I’m about to start the editing process with Musa on Silent Cravings. I’ve never done this with an e-pub before, so I’m curious to see how their process differs from Kensington.

If you’re curious, the way it usually works–in my experience, which is as a midlist/relatively low on the totem pole author–you or your agent email your manuscript to your editor. The editor may accept it as-is, or ask for some rewrites or other significant change before accepting.

Once accepted, they may have edits for you on the structural level. You might have a round or two of this brand of edits, and they usually involve fleshing out incomplete ideas, adding/removing details, correcting logic fails, etc. They’ll also squee with you over the awesome parts!

Once that’s done, a copy editor will go through and put a polish on the manuscript with their red pen, noting corrections needed on spelling, grammar, and other minor errors. Sometimes not-so-minor. They occasionally spot things your acquiring editor (and agent and beta readers) missed, like those mysteriously missing pants that were there three paragraphs ago…

Copy edits are the last stop on the line for major changes. Anything significant you think needs to be addressed is done at this point, or forever hold your peace, amen.

Next you’ll get your page proofs, which is a printout of what the manuscript is supposed to look like when it’s bound into an actual book. You might find and correct a few minor things at this point, like spelling errors or missing commas, but significant changes are not supposed to be done on this step. I believe this is also the version that advance reader copies are printed from, but don’t quote me on that. Page proofs are your last chance to make corrections before the final version of the book goes to print.

And that’s your lesson in commercial publishing for the day. I might revisit this topic once I’ve experienced the process with Musa if any of you are interested in hearing about it.

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5 Responses to State of the Union (aka: What I’ve Been Up To)

  1. Cassi Carver says:

    Well done, Jess! I’ve had a couple double-face-palm moments myself along the bumpy road to publication! I’d love to hear more about your Musa experience at some point! 🙂

  2. Jess says:

    Thank you, Cassi! 😀 I’ll post something about Musa when I have more info, then. Probably towards the end of the year. We’re starting round one next week, and per the email I got it should go through the end of November, so we’ll see how that goes. 🙂


  3. SharonS says:

    lol. I do a lot of beta work and my specialty is finding those missing pants or change in hair style, or how did that person reach out and touch the other when they were on the other side of the room? and my all time favorite… No, your heroine can NOT see by the light of the new moon! oh, and those pesky repeated words.

  4. Amanda says:

    Jess, You’ve nailed the process! Now, with Musa (and I guess all e-pubs) your galley proofs will be a pdf rather than a printed galley. And, at least unlike with my experience with other publishing houses, you get to have input about your cover.

    Amanda (eating lunch and reading blogs instead of editing)

  5. Jess says:

    @Sharon — Yeeeeeah, I have had more than my share of those in early drafts… LOL

    @Amanda — Thank you! 🙂 That reminds me, I need to sit down with Eve and go over that style sheet. Not the editing kind, the one for the cover art and back cover copy. That was totally new to me.


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