Tuesday, 5 October 2010

After the Sale - Chapter Edit, Edit & Edit Again

For those of you who have received and R&R (revise and re-submit) and feel it's a rejection - DON'T. Betrayed was one of those. I revised according to the suggestions and concerns of my editor, re-subbed, and a few weeks later received that wonderful "Call" email from Carina Press.

My editor had seen something in my voice, a spark in my premise, something that grabbed her interest enough to commit to the hard work ahead... because Betrayed was far from perfect even after that first round of revisions and even after I'd been offered a contract. There was a second round, a third round, and yes, a fourth round, and after that the copy edits.

My initial draft of Betrayed was about 160k words, I'm sure my editor was extremely relieved that by the time I subbed to Carina Press, I'd dwindled that down to just over 100k... that's an awful lot of reading, careful edit-type reading and commenting and suggesting and fixing and debating back and forth with me over, five times over. My lovely editor even took the time to jot down joky notes that had me laughing out loud at times- I'm sure she wouldn't mind me sharing one...

I'd written (and no, sometimes I have no idea where these words come from, lol)
Before she opened her eyes and sucked his willpower dry with the green fire that seemed to burn from deep within her secret places.

My editor's comment:
Delete the “secret places” because readers may start seeing green pussy-fires J

I laughed so much, I ended up choking and had to cover my tracks when my 10 yr son wanted to know what was so funny.

There was not much time between the round of edits, sometimes as little as one week, and I must admit that the process consumed my time and thoughts. I admire authors who can juggle editing one book while continuing to work on their next. I tried that, but every time I sat down with my WIP, my thoughts would wander to the set of edits I'd just handed in, second-guessing the changes I'd made and wondering if it would be enough or whether more edits would be required. Not productive, but I don't bang myself up about it. This was all so new to me, new and exciting, and in a manner I'm glad I took the time to enjoy and worry over everything.


  1. Oy vey! Sounds like the hard work begins after the contract is signed. And we do this for fun???

    Seriously, though, five sets of revisions is a lot. But, I suppose, if you have a contract in hand, the pain is worth it. No wonder the finished book is so slick & polished!

  2. Hi Claire!

    I can totally relate to his post! I also received a R & R request from Carina for my novel The Paris Secret. Was it disappointing not to get an offer right away? Of course. But it was also exciting because my editor, JS, saw the book's potential and took the time to tell me what needed to be done and was willing to take a second look. Editors are busy people. They don't take the time to write R & R letters unless they are truly interested in your work. I made the suggested changes and was offered a contract a couple months later. I'm currently in the midst of revisions for The Paris Secret. I've gone through 2 rounds and I expect more. When I think about how far this book has come under the guidance of my editor's expertise, I'm so proud and happy. It has been a lot of hard work but so worth it!

  3. Judy, the edits that followed after I had a contract in hand were much easier because (a) you don't have to keep wondering if you're not merely throwing away more time on an elusive dream and (b) you don't need to second-guess yourself so much because you know if something's wrong, it will just mean more edits and not a reject.

    Angela, congrats on your sale and I'm with you on everything you said. Sometimes we give up hope and a R&R seems just like another rejection, but as they say, this biz is 90% perserverance. good luck with the edits.