When working with a traditional publisher, the basic stages of revision are:
1 – an editorial letter in which the editor requests changes in plot or character, or better explanations of motivation or background, etc.
2 – Once the final manuscript is accepted, it goes to the copyeditor, who goes through the manuscript in close detail, correcting spelling, hyphenations, punctuation, and noting inconsistencies. The manuscript then goes back to the author giving us a chance to un-do some of that careful work if we don’t agree with it, along with a chance to correct the inconsistencies. This is also a chance to make more minor revisions. Huzzah!
3 – The manuscript goes back to the publisher, the changes are added to the master file, and the manuscript is then “typeset” for ultimate printing. This is the stage when the pages look like book pages. A PDF file is generated and these “page proofs” are sent to the author, who gets to read the whole thing one more time — and make minor changes … which we do. But that’s it. This is the last chance to fix things up.
So where am I?
Book 1: I finished going over the page proofs a few days ago, and will be sending my changes back just after the New Year, when it’s back-to-business in the publishing world. And yes! I made some changes, despite that this book has already been published, reviewed, award-nominated, and re-revised. Writers are never satisfied. But the changes are minor and go mostly to clarifying and making this book consistent with the next one.
Book 2: Yesterday I finished my final read-through of the manuscript after addressing the editor’s requested changes and making a few of my own. The revised manuscript will go back to Saga Press on Monday, and if no more changes are requested, it will go to a copyeditor.
Book 3: The first draft is done and I already made a start on revisions, but now I’ve got only five weeks to turn in a reasonable draft. So it’s back-to-work on this one. (Must write faster…)