What I’m really asking with this title is: how many pairs of eyes does it take to edit a book? It took a small army of family, friends, and professionals to catch a plethora of typos, errors, and unrealistic descriptions in my novel, Elephant in the Room.
I tried not to edit myself while I wrote in November 2015, but then I reviewed and made corrections in January before presenting it for my husband and two teenage daughters to read. When I sent a draft electronically to my parents, they both graciously sent lists of their corrections, too. My family found the really funny mistakes, and I thought they caught most of the little typos, too; but I was wrong.
Next, I asked friends to read it, some to help with the Biblical content, some to lend their grammar and composition expertise. Besides their meaningful comments, each reader would find a distinct set of typos. So now I thought it was in good shape. But even after an intense month educating myself on how to submit a manuscript to a few select Christian agents and publishers, I formatted the first three chapters and discovered even more typos.
After I signed a contract with Dove Christian Publishers, the professional editor sent the first round of corrections and comments. It was a challenge to work through the substantive recommendations received from the experienced editor and publisher in the industry, but I appreciated every observation and challenge to improve my writing. Once again I was amazed that there were still so many little errors. When they sent me the proof copy, it was thrilling to handle my creation in paper form! Yet when I read it again, I found more details that needed to be fixed.
As I eagerly anticipate the release of the book, I would like to thank all of the people who read my book in the early stages. Thank you for pointing out all of the mistakes. I admit that I prayed often for humility to receive criticism, and you were all so kind when correcting me. You wanted to help me create a quality book, and I think with your help we’ve done it.
So how many pairs of eyes did it take to edit my book? Thanks to Ross, Rachel, Anna, Judie, Steve, Bryan, Corrie, Judy, Mae, Grace, Liana, Louis, and Raenita for reading and catching the big and little things. “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.” – Proverbs 15:22
Have you written a book? How many people helped you by reading and editing it? Feel free to give thanks for them by commenting below!