On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Copy Edits. Heart Quest

Well, it's 6:49 am and the copy edits are at FED EX to go out at 7:30 pm. When it's true that a writer can polish a manuscript ad infinitum, I definitely reached the stage where if my editor wanted my heroine to exclaim, Trif DID exclaim. I didn't care to change it.

I'd started on my own edits in landscape 2 pages per each side and gotten about 1/4 of the way through. I finished reading that, then transferred my corrections to the copy edited ms. I think I had a different editor as I could tell this one smoked (and I could tell it on my pages. I suppose my stuff smells like eau de cat). Usually they give me the same copy editor.

Then I glanced through the ms. for any questions left by the copy editor and my editor and answered, fixed them. THEN I glanced at my critique and first readers comments and went through them and fixed what I thought I could...and sometimes this sounded like real crap -- but there IS the galley stage and we should be back on time, now, I hope, so I could get 10 days (I say with incredible optimism).

Page 96 was missing. I printed out a new page 96 and made my edit, but it won't have the copy editor's marks.

I changed 2 characters names. I added some lines here and there, and a 1 page set up for Heart Match.

So, I'm exhausted, and will probably try and take a nap in my sunlit bedroom, then eat breakfast and get back to a climactic moment in Protector of the Faith.

One other thing, Berkley's punctuation is nothing like my own (I am not well-grounded in any punctuation) so if I wanted to conform my ms. to look like the copy edits I would have to change EVERY PAGE. I am not kidding. So usually, when I send out my ARCs, I change the substantive lines, then leave the rest.

BTW, it took $40+ to copy and $51.00 to FED EX.

May your writing today give you a great feeling of accomplishment.


Blogger Heather Waters said...

I have a tiny bit of sweat trickling down my neck after reading your post. Copy edits in two days. For real? I'm newly sold to Berkley, no steps into the actual process yet, but am, at this very moment, expecting a revision letter from me editor. What is THAT process like? How long is the normal grace period for those.

THanks for posting this topic. I'm going to go throw up and take a nap, but I'm sure I'll feel a bit better afterward :)

2:55 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Heather, take it easy!

Next, I posted a comment to this and it didn't show up!

Anyway, when I got behind on Sorceress of Faith, it carried over to EVERYTHING, so Heart Quest was late. Usually I get a full 10 days from date mailed to date must be in NY, which is about 8 days to work on it, unless the date to be in NY is a Monday, then I must FedEx no later than Sat noon.

I haven't ever received a revsion letter from Berkley, just the copy edits with notes about what my editor wants to see in the book.


8:18 AM  
Blogger Heather Waters said...

Never seen a revision letter? You mean I could possibly get to wait until copy edits to see what changes need to be made? I'm worried about big boo boos, and tend to stress about nothing and everything all the time. I'm not even sure what form revisions come in from Berkley, or whether it's individual from each editor. I suppose I'll find out soon enough :)

5:39 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Heather, writers are obsessive, first time authors are VERY obsessive and I think I mentioned once that neurotic writer is redundant. The first time I saw an envelope from Berkley (my contract), I thought it was a letter saying they'd made a terrible mistake...

You will probably just receive the copy edits, especially since your editor hasn't said anything else. There may be changes, but you probably won't have to gut the book -- especially if you sold on a full manuscript...then it should just be minor stuff.

Chill. (yes, I know, easier said than done).


8:49 PM  
Blogger Heather Waters said...

Alas, I am the exception to the rule. I am a new author who sold on proposal alone LOL. Yes, I know, it's unheard of, and to be honest, if I could do it again, I would have preferred selling the whole manuscript rather than the proposal so at least I'd know if I'd "pulled it off".

PS: I love your blog!

10:35 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...


I think you'll be fine. Don't worry about a revision letter unless your editor or agent has told you one would be coming.

Thanks for letting me know you like the blog.


7:59 PM  

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