Road to Publication #9: Publisher responds to my “Re-edits”

Well, overall they liked the changes.  Yay!  There were four things they felt strongly about.

#1 They thought an eleven year old girl would not say “You’re a jerk”.  They wanted to change it to “You’re mean”.  Okay, I guess that’s all right.  It’s not as funny, but I’ll go with it.  At least they agreed to put that scene back in. (They originally wanted to completely remove it.)

#2 They wanted to change up a scene where three characters were talking.  They sent me an excerpt of what they wanted to do, but I couldn’t put my mind around it.  I needed to ask to see the changed manuscript.

#3 In the climax, they felt strongly about the way it happened.  Apparently, I did not “show” it well enough to give them a clear picture.  I took some things for granted, and I supposed it backfired.  They wanted to change it to the way they “thought” it had happened, which really wouldn’t be all that big a deal, but I didn’t think what they suggested was even physically possible.  I tried re-writing the scene, and asked them if I’d done a better job of expressing what happened.

#4 They did not like my last word.  Not the sentence… just the last word.  I thought if they had a problem with the ending, that they’d want to trash the last six words.  But nope.  Just the last word.

The problem is that changing the last word to what they wanted would change the entire tone of the story.  It is also a poetic ending, and it was not the right amount of syllables.  I know… that sounds really stupid. You’ll understand when you see it.

I suggested a different word that I think expressed what they wanted, but with the correct amount of syllables.  We’ll see what happens.

Overall, I think I am happy at the moment.  I would really like to read it one more time to make sure everything is okay.  I feel helpless… not having the version that they are working off of right in front of me, and I don’t like okaying things piece-meal.

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38 responses to “Road to Publication #9: Publisher responds to my “Re-edits”

  1. Sounds like the edit is about normal, from what I remember about my editorial dealings. There were a few word haggles with mine, too, but a few times I just said something like, my character is speaking with my voice and that’s not something I think my character would say. They compromised fairly well.

    I am surprised that they aren’t giving you back the whole manuscript each time there was a change with a note to check changes on such-and-such a page. Mine were all done with MS Word and the ‘track changes’ feature (at least with the last book) so it was easy to see what was changed and what stayed the same.

    Hope everything works out for you in the end and you are happy with the final edit. :)

  2. Wow, only 4 points to fix. Congrats on writing it so well the first time around!

  3. With my book, I was sometimes quite surprised by how piddly and random some of the editorial tweaks were. The edits didn’t trouble me in most cases, but I do remember sitting back and thinking “Why? What difference does it make?”

    And for the record, when my niece was 11, the world was certainly jerky.

  4. Have you thought about adding all the changes into a copy of the original work? That way, you get to see what they see.

  5. Nerve wracking. It’s hard to accept changes if they seem to change the story you had in mind but you’re almost finished and you admit the story’s better. Yay! Keep up your spirits and get done.

  6. Wow! The last word. I’ll be very interested to read this. Will you hate me if I skip to the end and read the last word first? Hee, hee.

    • Actually, I don’t think it will ruin the story if you read the last six words first. You will then be on a journey to see how we get there.

      Come tothink of it… the word we landed on might make you WANT to run back and start from the beginning. I never thought of writing backwards. :-)

  7. That does seem a bit frustrating :( I hope it gets easier

    • Actually, my experience has been pretty good compared to what I’ve heard from authors in the past. We were open to discussion in most cases. There were some things I felt strongly about, and some things they felt strongly about.

  8. Instead of “You’re a jerk”, why not something like “You’re a toad” or some critter appropriate to the story. I agree that “You’re mean” sounds like a five-year-old. Either way, you’ve got great balance!

  9. Ugh! That must be so frustrating not having the actual draft in front of you. That would drive me crazy.
    I hate to nitpick but you had it right the first time. I have three kids and all three have said, and I quote, “you’re a jerk” at the age of 11. “You’re mean” sounds more like a 5 year old.
    Compromises suck sometimes but does it help knowing that your readers won’t know the difference when they read the book?

  10. Doesn’t sound too bad! Great job on the compromising–this publishing thing is growing you, isn’t it;~) Can’t wait to read the finished product~cheers

  11. Congrats first on the fact you have a publisher! That is wonderful! I’ve re-edited my book so many times I lost count. You are right. It is interesting the smallest details make the difference to publishers.

  12. It sounds like the press is a good one to work with. Some might say “too bad, it’s our way or the highway.” You’re getting so close!

  13. It all sounds very tricky, but it also sounds like you’re handling it brilliantly- neither stubbornly sticking to exactly the way you want it, nor simply agreeing to every suggestion they make without thought.

  14. You must have guts. I would just be like “yeah, let’s do what you want” because I’d think that “yeah, they’re publishers. They know what they’re doing” when in some instances that might not be true.

    You’re so close to the finish line! And they wanted to change the last word?…. It is the same as the last word I read, because in that case, what on earth could you change it to?!

  15. You’re almost there!

  16. I am glad that you are sort of fighting for the things that are important to you and your story. I would be so intimidated that I would probably just agree to everything.

  17. At least it doesn’t look like anything too drastic. Thanks for comtinuing to share your publishing process!

  18. That’s pretty positive feedback I think. Not too many changes. Thanks for sharing your progress… it’s great to see how it works.

  19. You know, it’s really interesting to see the back and forth, the compromises from both sides. I’m glad they’re willing to work with you on it and that they liked most of your changes. Almost there!

  20. I completely understand. But you’re getting published!!!!! Toot that horn, woman. It’s fantastic and only the start of great things to come.