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.
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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 -
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Smashwords -


  1. Thanks for sharing, Karen. My latest is being edited by my publisher as we speak. I will definitely keep your points and advice in mind when they come back to me. I will also keep you in mind should either this novel or the next need a new set of eyes to edit.
    Take care.


    1. Thanks James. I hope your publisher does your novel justice!

  2. I will recommend Karen Dales for editing any day of the week, and twice on Sunday! She did a fantastic job on my novel, Time Assassins! She is extremely thorough in her researching, editing, making suggestions, etc...meticulous and frustratingly picky!!

    If you need editing, Karen Dales gets five stars in my book! *****