The Book Editing Process – Sometimes it’s a Bumpy Ride!

Choosing an editor for French Illusions wasn’t easy. As a matter of fact, it was downright difficult. I searched the web for many months, pouring through blogs and editors guilds until I found three candidates who looked promising. I asked for references, contacted all  them and received good feedback. Now what, I thought. How will I choose? The answer seemed simple. I would ask each of them to perform an edit on my first chapter. They all agreed, and over the next few weeks, I received their samples. With a critical eye, I spread them out on my office floor and carefully compared their work. Each editor offered something, but none of their edits felt like a perfect fit. Reluctantly, I tossed all of them aside.

I continued to search the web until I stumbled across my first editor. She grew up in the LoireValley and spoke fluent French.  A match made in heaven, I thought.  Actually, no. Admittedly, she helped me with translations and corrected several cultural issues, but let’s just say, she identified a little too closely with my antagonist. In the end, I asked her to return my manuscript knowing full well it would need additional line editing. What now, I thought.

Disheartened, I took another look at the three candidates who had provided me with sample edits early on. One of them stood out and I chose her as my second editor. She was a pleasure to work with and she ironed out some important kinks in my book. Additionally her positive feedback healed my wounds. Definitely, a match made in heaven this time. Almost.

After I received my fully edited manuscript, I sent an excerpt from French Illusions to Dorothy at Pump Up Your Book. She found a punctuation error in the first few sentences. I found a whole lot more on my own. Arghhh.  I immediately asked Dorothy if she had a reference for a line editor. She referred me to my third editor and she corrected the remaining errors throughout my book.

As you can see, my editing process was indeed a bumpy ride. I will admit that my book was a highly complicated edit given the foreign setting and French translations. Maybe I was too hard on my first two editors. Maybe it took all three of them to get it right.


  1. Linda, Thanks for this insight into your editing process. I’ll admit that living with an editor made my choices a little easier. I’m really enjoying your book so far and thought your trailer was great. Now you’ve inspired me to have a trailer done for my book, The Summer of France. Here’s My Blog
    I’ll let you know when I post a review on your book.

  2. Hi Linda. I came over here from Monique Morgans blog. That was a very interesting post. I can only imagine how difficult it can be to find the perfect fit. Thanks.

  3. carla bonesteel says:

    I have to say…at least you make sure it’s edited correctly…one thing I really can’t stand is reading a final copy of a book with spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors!

  4. Thanks for your information on how you went about selecting a publisher. I didnt know that all these things needed to be taken into consideration. Interesting to know tho I am not a writer but I love reading books.

  5. Marthalynn says:

    What an wonderful post! I am not an author, although I LOVE reading about the writing process. I had never really thought about how there needs to be a good fit between author and editor. Thanks for sharing this insight with us!

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