This week I sent back to my editor my final edits on Trouble at Turtle Narrows, the children's novel that is coming out later this fall. It had already been edited at the publisher's; now it was my turn.
I always look forward to this stage in a book's development. Up till now, no one else has read the manuscript. I do not hire a freelance editor before submitting my material to a publisher. I know I've been so close to the work that I have lost my objectivity, and I welcome the editor's notes and suggestions.
Working as a team we now have a better book. The story is tighter; the action moves right along. I was grateful for the editor's suggestion this time that I write a short scene at a place where he felt something was missing. He was right; I hadn't seen that before. How much better to make the changes now, than to have a reviewer point out that the solution I came up with for one of the obstacles in the character's path seemed "a little too easy".
All the editing on this book was done on the computer and the revised document sent by email. No more paper copies in fat, brown envelopes going back and forth between us.
Prior to this book, I used to receive the unbound galley pages to edit--a pile of paper, two book pages per sheet, with the edits in bold font and little sticky notes to catch my attention. I'd make my changes, agree or disagree with the editor's suggestions (mostly agree) and add more sticky notes. Then it was off to the post office. This new way of doing it is much quicker and wastes no paper.
I'm waiting now to see the cover illustration. I've seen two different versions, but the artist wanted to do a little more tweaking. After the book has been formatted, my editor will email me the document in pdf. format and I'll do a final read-through. We'll both be hoping I haven't typed "than" instead of "that", something the computer's spellchecker would not pick up, or lopped off any punctuation when we rearranged a paragraph.
Before too long Trouble at Turtle Narrows will be on the shelves in the book stores, and young readers looking for a further adventure of Joel Osler and Paige Duggan should be happy.