One of the questions I'm frequently asked about is the editing process. Working with an editor as a traditionally published author, there are deadlines to meet and that makes the process a bit different than self-publishing. After I parted ways with my previous publisher, and with the encouragement of my self-published friends, I decided to release a few of the older titles on my own. It was strange for me to not have someone setting a date for completion, but it also had the perk of less stress. Which ever journey you're on, there's always bumps. It's up to you to choose which route will work best for you.
That being said, I've worked with some great editors since becoming an author with The Parliament House, and I've learned a few things I'd overlooked in the past. So I decided to show you an example of what the first round of content editing can look like.
After I submit my manuscript, the content editor rolls up their sleeves and begins their job of molding my manuscript into the finished product. And although most changes are formed as suggestions, I do find that ninety percent of the time their ideas work.
Below is an example of what the first page of Alex McKenna & A Winter's Night looked like when I received it back from my editor. As you can see there's a lot of red. That's okay, this is where the polish begins. Working with an editor that understands your work is a must, otherwise there's turmoil when ideas don't line up.
After two or three rounds of content edits, the manuscript moves on to line editing. That's where grammar and punctuation are scrutinized. Once that's complete it's time to move on to galley edits. This is the last round to catch any errors or inconsistencies that might have been missed. It's a lot of work, but in the end it's worth it.
Following this excerpt is the finished version so you can compare the difference. I hope this answers some of your questions, but if not, feel free to reach out. I'm here if you need help.
Finished version, Alex McKenna & A Winter's Night:
The football field glittered as the warm sun kissed the
frosted layer blanketing the tall grass. Alex tightened
the collar of his black peacoat and slipped his hands
into the cover of deep pockets. Margaret was late, and the bell
would ring in a few short minutes. She had to make a stop at
Buttercooky Bakery for her first period class. In an attempt to
understand the second language that was a common exchange in
the McKenna/LaBoccetta household, she decided to take Italian,
and the class was having a “Tastes of Italy” day. Since
Margaret was all about the desserts and knew nothing of the
baking world, she settled on the decadent treats from her favorite
go-to for anything sweet.
“What a lovely morning. Don’t you agree, Alex?”
Alex glanced over his left shoulder. May Cunningham
smiled softly as she gazed out toward the open field.
“It’s nice, but I think I’d prefer it a few degrees warmer.”
Alex scrunched his shoulders.
“After that hellish realm you were in, I should think the crisp
air would be a welcome change.”
“What are you up to this morning, May?”
The celestial form glided up a few rows of the bleachers and
sat down. She patted the empty space beside her. Alex took the
cue and followed, settling down next to her.
“Nothing, really. It’s been fairly quiet since your last case.
Word in the spirit world is no one should mess with Alex
McKenna. He’ll have you banished to the underworld.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“I pinky swear it’s true. You’ve become quite the man in the
realm of the dead. But you should be careful—you know better
than most that being feared also makes you a target for those who
wish to gain your power.”
“I will. Thanks, May.” Alex nodded and smiled.
“Where’s the lovely Margaret today?”
“She’s coming, just running late.”
“Well then, you have a nice day, Alex, and try to stay out of
“I always do, but you know trouble never cooperates.”
Alex grinned. Over the years he’d met many souls, May was
by far the kindest.
Alex stepped down, sending his left leg up in the air as he
scooted on one foot to regain balance. The slick surface of the
aluminum bleachers had been drenched from an early morning
mist, and he nearly became a victim of his own preoccupations.
“There he is, the weirdo of Floral Park.” A harsh voice beat
its way to Alex’s ear.
“What do you want, Kyle? Are you getting on the field or
here to give me crap?”
There was a time when he would have avoided the bully at
all cost, but after the things Alex had done over the past two
months, Kyle was no more than an inconvenience. A large one,
but a blip in his day, nonetheless.
The rest of the football team had started to trickle in and
make their way to the field. Alex caught Kyle’s eyes
following the star quarterback. The guy was new to the
school and made first string off of the reputation he brought
with him. The bully’s eyes never averted from the
“He’s really good,” said Alex.
“Who? What the hell are you talking about, freak?”
Coming out December 14th, the third book in the Alex McKenna series, A Winter's Night. Pre-Order today!
For a minute, everything in Alex McKenna’s life was perfect. He only had one year left of high school, his girlfriend Margaret was the love of his life, and he couldn’t ask for a more supportive family.
His psychic powers were growing and he was learning more and more about his family’s abilities as Strega witches. Things were good.
Until the night it all fell to pieces.
As Margaret lies in the hospital after a serious car accident, her disembodied spirit searches for a way back to the living. Alex is desperate to save her and the victims of his next case: an ominous being haunting the hospital and stealing the souls of infants and the elderly, sending them straight to Hell.