Photo credit: Bing Ramos (Creative Commons)
Many of my friends and co-workers have been asking me why is it taking so long for my book to come out. Why does it take over a year to hit the shelves? Why can’t we just buy it now!?!
There are actually a lot of reasons for this, but the most important reason is the book must go through several rounds of professional editing. Sure, when my editor bought GILDED, my agent and I worked on it to be in the best possible shape. But there is nothing that can replace a good editor who can take what I’ve written to the next level.
So before I got my letter, there was a level of anxiety and excitement. What will my editor ask me to change? Will I agree with her suggestions? Will I be able to actually do what she wants me to accomplish? Yeah, panic that looks something like this:
Credit: tumblr: hautestofbois
The first stage in this whole book publishing process is my editor sent me what is called an editorial letter. These can range in length from 1-50 pages, depending on the editor and the shape the manuscript is already in. They also can range in style from editor to editor.
For instance, some editors prefer general overarching themes to tackle and allow the author room to determine how to fix those issues. While other editors may be more specific and perhaps even get into line comments in this first stage.
In my case, my editor sent me via email a letter that highlighted the general overarching issues of GILDED. She posed questions and pointed to areas where the characters could be more developed and asked for me to flesh out some of the world building.
From her suggestions, I created a plan on how I would tackle each of the problematic areas of the book. Later this week, I’ll do a break-down for you on how I did this more specifically.
As far as how a writer will receive their editorial letter, some authors receive theirs in the mail while other’s receive it via email, depending on the editor’s preference.
I’m planning on doing some posts on each stage of the publishing process, so if you have any questions, feel free to post them below.