The Editing Process

How many times is a book edited and changed before it hits the shelves?

I can’t tell you how it ALWAYS works, but I thought it might be helpful for some of you to see how the process works (and how long it takes)

May 1st, 2010: I sent my manuscript to my publisher.

May 12th, 2010: My editor sent back my manuscript with changes. My contract gave me 30 days to return those changes to her.

June 5th, 2010: I sent those changes back with some notes. (Just FYI: it took me about 20-30 hours to make the changes she suggested.)

June 18th, 2010: My editor sent back a few small changes and tweaks and asked me to have them back to her in two weeks.

July 5th, 2010: I sent those changes back to my editor, my manuscript was officially accepted. My editor then sent my manuscript to the copyeditor.

August 3rd, 2010: I got my manuscript back from the copyeditor and my editor asked me to read through it again to check for clarity, make sure I agreed with the changes. The copyeditor also had a bunch of questions for me and clarifications for me to make. My manuscript was then sent to a lawyer.

September 29th, 2010: I got the manuscript back from the lawyer with some (minor, thankfully) legal changes. We made those over the phone. Then, my editor sent me a hard-printed copy of my manuscript and asked me to give it one final read.

October 15th, 2010: I sent the edited manuscript back to my editor (I confess, I was tired of seeing it!) and she passed it back to the copyeditor and a cold reader. I *think* that’s the last round of edits before it goes into print.


  1. Congrats – it must feel amazing to have it done!!! Thanks for sharing your journey.

  2. So cool to read this. I love learning about the process. Educational and things I tuck away for later.
    ~ Wendy

  3. Erin, so neat to see how the process varies! You're probably aware of this already, but the 12 day turnaround between your mss. submission and your response is probably pretty unusual and related to your condensed publishing timeline. I didn't get my edits for four months after my mss. submission! :-)

  4. It definitely is a long p r o c e s s! Makes it that much more gratifying when you finally hold it in your hands!

  5. Congratulations!! That's so exciting. Hopefully there won't be anymore edits! You will be so happy when the final copy is in your hot little hands :)

  6. Thanks for sharing this process! I find the whole thing fascinating. Congrats again!

  7. Not many readers and aspiring authors get a peek at this sort of thing. Thanks for letting us in on your process. Have a great week!

  8. Erin,
    Welcome to the world of the professional writer.
    We make $.10 an hour.


  9. thanks for sharing– very interesting!
    I have been thinking about you, and hoping you're feeling well and healthy!

  10. Yes –Erin this is true—but ultimately this whole exercise is for betterment of your books.
    I always check my book's lay-out and proof also—so many times–till the time of print.
    But i liked your post —it's very interesting.
    Best wishes.

  11. Hey Erin, great post. Thanks for sharing the process with us. I appreciate "insider" topics.

  12. Erin, sooooo are you up for a ringadingding today?

    Let me know if you are. I'd love to talk shop with you. (I'm still waiting on my edits. Trying not to stress too much.)

    I saw your book cover over at Rachelle's blog. It looks GREAT!