BEYOND THE PAGE: The Final Round of Edits (Or, “Perfecting the Kiss”)

NYC (8)

September 1, 2015

BEYOND THE PAGE: The Final Round of Edits (Or, “Perfecting the Kiss”)

It’s September, summer is fading, and you might be back in school (or continuing to slave away at work.). Either way, you can read this under your desk on your phone, because it’s Tuesday—so it’s time for the next post in Beyond the Page. We’re throwing the doors of the publishing house wide open, and showing you how we’ve taken Catrina Burgess’ Dark Rituals series from a manuscript to a published book.

We’ve shown you how an editor picks apart an author’s work, and then how that author freaks out, explodes, dies, regroups, revises, and sends it back. In some cases, the back and forth between an editor and an author can last for years. Luckily for Catrina, we only had one more pass.

After an author returns a round of content and line edits, the editor will go back over the manuscript to check them out and add any more comments. If needed, they’ll send back another round of notes. The amount of back and forth depends on how easily the author was able to revise, and how much focus the publisher needs to put into the book. Often one editor will work on one book until it’s completely edited, but in this case, while Kayla started editing Dark Rituals #2: Possession, Samantha had the chance read over Cat’s last round of edits from Awakening. Cat did an amazing job of responding to Kayla’s notes, and Samantha had just a few more comments to add. We asked her for an example:

Samantha: There was one big thing Kayla didn’t comment on in Awakening that I couldn’t stop thinking about: Colina and Luke’s first kiss.

It happened very fast, before the characters had established any emotional relationship. I love a good kiss (and a good romance!), but it was too surprising —I didn’t think “aww”, I thought, “huh?” I wrote a few more comments in the margins of the manuscript about building up to the kiss more, and Cat immediately agreed (thank goodness! It’s not easy if your author disagrees with you). She added flirting into the scene instead of the kiss, and now we can actually see a relationship developing and the conflicting emotions of the characters. Who would have thought it would be more exciting than a kiss?

And maybe that kiss happens…eventually. You’ll have to wait and see ;).

Now that the editing is done, there’s only one step left before the manuscript is final: copyediting. It’s a job for a perfectionist—stay tuned next week when Beyond the Page continues, and we’ll tell you all about it.


Ever wonder what happens after you sign with a publishing house? Catrina Burgess, author of The Dark Rituals series coming this October, has convinced us to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how a manuscript becomes a finished book. Tune in every Tuesday for a new installment, and check out the series on the author’s blog at!

Catch up here:

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