Yes I know for you non-writers out there, edits may not be the most interesting subject, but bear with me. I’m not going to talk about comma splices, verb agreement or misplaced modifiers. What I’ll tell you about is edits (the kind you receive from an editor before your book gets published).
I recently sold a historical western romance to Crimson Romance Publishing. (The book, A Moment’s Pleasure is supposed to be available in March 2013. You can find an excerpt on my website, http://rueallyn.com/2d1AMPexcerpt.html.) Crimson Romance is a new house for me, and I’ve never worked with their editorial staff before. So the editorial suggestions and commentary that I received (and am to complete in two weeks) are a new experience. Not only because I’m with a new publishing house, but also because I’m really being edited.
The Widow's Revenge
is available from Amazon.
My prior experience (at three different publishers) was relatively mild. I’d get back a nice e-mail saying “would you mind making these two or three small changes to your manuscript.” Those changes usually involved a couple of words here and there—for example—to make my hero more manly or clear up a factoid for the readership.
The edits I received from Crimson Romance were radically different. The email was still very nice, but the requested changes were much more numerous and complex. I’m moving chapters, deleting whole pages, writing new text to knit things together, modifying the story timeline, beefing up or toning down and in general working my fingers to the bone.
You might think I’d be upset—no other house wanted that much work from me during the editing phase of the manuscript. Well believe you me, I’m far from upset. Fact is, I’m tickled pink. [This is a blog post not a story, I’m allowed to use a cliché or three. J]
Off Limits is available from Amazon.
I now understand what it means to have a publishing house truly look out for me and my reputation as an author. And I have a greater comprehension of why those other publishers wanted less from me. They were just as interested in preserving the quality of my writing as Crimson Romance is. What was different was the manuscripts themselves. Why? Well that’s a whole ‘nother blog post (all about confidence in your writing and not letting well intentioned input mess with your mind).
The gist of this post for writers is whether edits are minor or extensive; believe that the publisher and editor want the best book. That’s good for them and for the author. For non-writers the gist is this. Take criticism (the kind of ‘edits’ most people get) as a compliment. Realize that someone cares enough about you to tell you what they think. If the commentary upsets you, consider that the difficulty may not be with the person giving the comments.
You may find more about Rue Allyn
At her website: http://RueAllyn.com
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rue-Allyn/
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/RueAllyn/