Award Winning Author

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Karen Dales is the Award Winning Author of "The Chosen Chronicles" which include "Changeling: Prelude to the Chosen Chronicles," "Angel of Death: Book One of the Chosen Chronicles," and "Shadow of Death: Book Two of the Chosen Chronicles." She is currently at work on "Thanatos: Book Three of the Chosen Chronicles" and a Historical Romance set in Edo Japan.
Karen loves receiving emails from fans. If you'd like to email her:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Sequence of Editing

 A question was asked on a FB group about how novels are edited. I wrote the following in response and then realized I can share it with you wonderful folks on my blog.

As an editor, the rule of thumb for editing goes from the largest to the smallest. This means you start with the content/substance of the novel: plot, facts, flow, character development, use of language, ensurance that the voice of the author and thus the characters are consistent, etc. I want to note that substance/content editing can be several rounds of rewrites.

Once the rewrites to the substance/content of the novel are complete, then comes the line editing. This is where the structure of the novel is edited, where the sentences and paragraphs, even chapter breaks and scene breaks, are studied and fixed so as to keep a constant flow in the narrative.

Once those re-writes are done, then it goes to copy editing. This is where grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc., get a good going over.

Once those re-writes are done, then the galley is produced and is edited/proofread. This is the LAST chance for the author to make any changes/fixes to the novel before it goes to print/epub. Here is where any last minute copy editing can be done (it's sooooooo easy to miss things), if the author needs to change something such as a last re-write of a scene or paragraph, etc., (so long as it's not more than 20% of the novel lest the author piss off their publisher) it can be done at this point. The galley edits are the point of no return.

Once the galley is signed off, then it goes to print.

What MANY indie publishing houses fail at is the editing. They think ONE round of editing is enough. It is not. As a reader, I won't read novels from certain indie presses because of their horrific lack of editing for their authors. I feel bad for the authors of those houses, but honestly, they should take up the issues of bad editing with their publisher.

When Angel of Death and Changeling were picked up, the owner of DDP at that time had one editor deal with it. I trusted that editor and that person did not do a proper job. In fact, I was lucky, because that same editor mangled another author's book in the extreme. Both that editor and that owner are gone (thank GOD!) so now editing is done by professionals.  I'm also going to say, just because an individual reads a lot of books, does not make that person a publisher OR an editor.

If you are interested in my editing services, please email me at

If you would like to check out my novels (which are now properly edited), please check out the links below.

Amazon -
Barnes and Noble -
Smashwords -

Monday, May 14, 2012

Indy Press Publishing Survival list

My author friend, Violette Malan, posted this and I had to share it.

In this day and age, one MUST be very, very careful which small/indy publishing house you sign to. With new technology making it easier for self publishing, so too does it make it easier for would-be publishers with no real experience to start up publishing houses. Many of these people have never taken a course on how to publish, or even how to edit. Many of these people are self published individuals who have decided to take it upon themselves to do 'it' for others.

Some warning signs one MUST be aware of when looking at small/indy publishing houses is:

1) How they present themselves. I'm not saying their websites have to look like any of the 6 Sisters and their imprints, but it should look professional in accordance to their branding. This also means spelling and grammar errors.

2) How they correspond to potential authors and readers. If the publisher can't compose an email with proper grammar and spelling, then how can you be sure your novel/short story will be properly edited?

3) Ask FIRST about the editing process if offered a contract. If they have a professional editor, with credentials, editing your book, then that's a good sign. There are different stages of editing and one round is never enough. I know one author, who had to go back to substantive edits with his Large house publisher TEN times for rewrites.

4) That they aren't signing authors left, right and centre, and putting those books out in a matter of 6 months or less. There are reasons why it takes a year to 18 months (on average) to get a book out, unless you're going with Harlequin. If they are delivering quantity over quality for the number of staff, you know it'll be a poor product.

5) BEFORE you submit to a small/indy house, read something they've already put out. If you find substantive errors in the book, that's a BIG red flag, even if they say the book has been edited numerous times. If you find tense shifts, again, they should not be there at all. If you find consistent and numerous grammar and spelling errors, there's another red flag.

I hope this helped.