From Agent to Bookshelf

Before we had an agent, getting one felt like the end of the process. The goal. After all, we’d read the statistics. About agents only taking on 0.1% of submissions, or something like that. The possibility seemed so remote, we didn’t even bother to think about what might come next.

So we were kind of surprised to find out that what came next was actually editing. Lots and lots of editing.


First, we edited with our agent, before she sent it out to publishers.

Then, after we got a deal, we did more editing with our editor (and yes, we probably should have seen that coming).

It panned out something like this:

  • Three main edits, refining different aspects of the manuscript. For example, we moved sections around. Brought out some character traits more clearly. Wrote some new scenes and deleted others entirely. (Yes, it hurt. A lot. But it worked.)
  • A line edit, in which we worked through the manuscript thinking about phrasing, choice of words, clarity of expression.
  • A copy edit. The manuscript was checked over by the copy editor – a fresh pair of eyes – who suggested some further clarifications for us to think about.
  • A proof edit. The proof-reader checked everything over for house style, missed spelling mistakes, that sort of thing.

It all happened pretty quickly. Our first editorial meeting was mid-October 2015: a little over 8 months before publication date. And we had to write the first draft of our second book at the same time. But at least we were never bored.

Exhausted, yes. Bored, no.

And in twenty-six days, the result of all this editing and re-writing will be sent out into the world.

Nervous? Who’s nervous? Not us.


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