Every author should have a checklist of things to check before they finish their book. Here are a few I’ve thought about that will help both you and your editor.
- When you receive an edit from your editor, read the whole manuscript to see if you missed any corrections to be made. You have no idea how many authors only make the corrections.
- You are in a partnership with your publisher, therefore you must take the responsibility if you missed something. Many authors blame an editor for a mistake when they didn’t make the change. It is your responsibility to make changes.
- Read the manuscript aloud before you send it to the publisher/editor for the last time. Either the author read the manuscript in their own voice or have an audio program on their computer to read it. You can find more mistakes when it is heard and not read.
- Make sure everything is in the manuscript you want in there. Be sure to tell the publisher what you want as regard to Acknowledgements, Thank Yous, Dear Reader Page, etc. Many authors forget they want questions at the end of their novel. Have those ready when you send the last edit in, or when the publisher asks for them.
- Be sure everything is perfect when the last edit is sent in. I like for the author to tell me the manuscript is ready for publication, that they have read it and approve of it. Then we publish the manuscript. I want the author to affirm it is the way she/he wants it. Even with extra eyes looking at the manuscript, we sometimes miss things. When the manuscript goes to print, it’s all over. Everything should be perfect. No more changes.
These are things authors miss and think we as editors/publishers get it correct the first time. We don’t. We’re human like you are and we err. That’s why we need this reliable partnership. We have to work together. We have to each take responsibility.
When we begin t0 publish a book, we have a checklist we go by. Our editor, cover designer, and myself get this checklist. We are in a group on Trello.com, or will be when I figure out what’s gone wrong with Trello on my end. This keeps us all informed with what is going on. It is a lot easier to work with checklists.