|My Toughest Critic|
The Peachtree books are historical so facts are checked and verified. Dialect is considered. How much? How little? Story vs reality is carefully tweaked. My editor has been in the business forever and does the first read-through. After I make revisions based on her comments, the manuscript is then sent to a professional editor who checks EVERY fact. And I mean "every."
I tried to download a sample page from a first draft that was Christmas tree bright with cross-outs and comments, but blogger did not like it. So you'll have to take my word for it -- the revising stage is work.
The art is also carefully scrutinized. This is the second cover attempt by the exceptional artist Michael Montgomery for the book I have just finished revising. The first cover was too static and Darling too small. This version we all liked except Darling was slightly changed for a final version after I mentioned that all I saw was the dog's "teeth." I also comment on the American Girl art. In the upcoming book Change of Pace, I caught incorrectly held reins and kayak paddles. Both would have been big 'oops' if they hadn't been caught by someone.
I have been publishing since 1984 (wow, am I ever old) and have been lucky and honored to work with incredible editors through a long career. Many of them I am still working with! So in my experience, it doesn't matter if a book is self-published or published by a big house; what does matter is if the book is the best it can be. And in my case, that takes a team of professionals working together to create a top-notch product.
How do you handle revising? What have been your own experiences?