All edits are done!

… or are they?

This Wild, Wild Country is now with the typesetter, which means I will soon be holding the first printed proof in my hand. This will be a really special moment. What’s been words on a computer screen for 18 months and counting will finally be a physical thing to hold and flick through and put on a book shelf.

But the edits will not be done. First of all, the printed proof is just that – a proof copy. I will need to read it and re-read it to really make sure there are no mistakes remaining. There is other stuff to look out for: do the chapter titles look right? Is the spacing ok? Does the title fit the cover image, or is anything important being obscured?

Then there is what I call the book framework. I still have to write acknowledgements, an Author’s Note, some questions for reading groups and, most importantly, a dedication.

Meanwhile, the book will go through many hands at Bonnier, and through a sensitivity read. So there may be further edits coming at me down the line.

Like a painting, a book is never truly finished. But at some point, the editing has to stop. Still, I know I will howl with pain if This Wild, Wild Country goes to print and I open it in a book shop and find a typo.

Ah, well., we can always fix things for the paperback.

Final round of edits

I just got a bunch of final edits back for This Wild, Wild Country.

This is maybe the most exciting phase of book publishing. The book is so close to being finished. You can almost see it on the shelves already. It’s also starting to become the novel I’ve always wanted it to be. Does that sound weird? Maybe?

While I hate edits – after all, how can my perfect book baby have any flaws? – I also love them. There’s a saying that good books aren’t being written, they are being edited, and I 100% subscribe to that philosophy.

Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

The thing is, writing a novel is a journey without a map. You know you’re going to get “somewhere”, but the “where exactly” is always a question. Sometimes, you have grand ideas that don’t work out. Sometimes, a sub-plot that sounded great in your mind is silly on paper. At other times, a fresh mystery emerges from the pages. But does it have a solution?

Editors are absolutely essential in teasing out the brilliant bits from the word jungle and helping you, the author, look square in the face of the bad ones. They also give you something else that’s crucial to writing success = a deadline!

This Wild, Wild Country is coming out in August and is already available for pre-order at Waterstones and Amazon. And I am procrastinating. Back to the edits!