line edits -vs- copy edits

I’ve got to the point with my third book where all the exiting things are starting to happen. It has a title (The Pieces of You and Me), a publication date (ebook and audio on 21 March 2019 and paperback on 30 May 2019), the ebook and paperback are up for preorder (audio to follow) and I’ve now see what the cover will look like and I’m so excited to share it with you all soon!

And yesterday I handed in the line edits for it which means the next time I see it, it will look like a proper book!

Finishing a first draft of a novel is just the beginning – because after that there are edits followed by edits followed by edits!! The first stage is the structural edit which I’ve talked about here, the second is the line edit and that’s followed by copy edits.

What is a line edit?

When I send my structural edits back to my publisher, my lovely eagle-eyed editor goes through my manuscript with a fine tooth comb spotting inconsistencies and sentences that don’t work. I have a horrible habit of splitting infinitives all over the place so do pity my lovely editor, she truly has a her work cut out.

She adds her changes and notes to my manuscript and sends it back to me. Last week I worked my way through the manuscript making it the best version of itself. Her notes included things like adding more emotional impact to certain scenes, adding scenes where the main character interacts with her father to give the reader more understanding of her back story and (my personal favourite) “make this kiss more romantic”!!

What happens next?

And now the manuscript is off to copy edits – this is where my word document is put into house style (for example, I always type double quotation marks but my publisher likes single ones) and is then sent back to me for one final read through. This is really exciting because it will look exactly the same as it will look when it lands on readers’ kindles in March! It’s also the point when I get to do fun things like add the acknowledgements and the playlists.

And now it’s time to do it all over again!


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