After the 100+ times I edited my book myself, the four or five times my first editor edited it with me and then the three times I edited it with the Publisher’s editor, the pass my editor-in-chief made of it, followed by the first time I edited it with the copy editor – that entire process took the best part of six months – I now start what is called the “first pass”.
This is when the book is finished, but five or six pairs of eyes read it over once more. Changes can be made, although they should be pretty minor by this stage. I have two weeks to complete this first pass. It will be done on paper.
It will be followed next month by the “second pass”. Again, my eyes and four or five other pairs will look it over. Further changes can still be made, but hopefully they should be few, non-existent and/or very, very minor by this point in time. The idea is to make the book better, banish all mistakes, yet not to edit the life out of thing.
I have looked at the self-publishing route for other projects I’m working on, but having experienced the traditional publisher’s path I cannot see how it is possible to get a book, any book, “right” without all these other more experienced eyes working on the words.
Editing, if it isn’t already obvious, takes more time than writing.
Photo of a wall in Sài Gòn by me