Have you ever seen one of those filters that has multiple layers? The first layer removes all the big stuff, the second, the medium, and the third filters out all but the very smallest stuff. That's how editing works. Once you have dealt with the big, glaring errors, the medium sized problems surface. After you deal with them, the small ones suddenly show up. And after you've fixed them, the nit-picky stuff seems to pop out like a neon sign.
I was fortunate to get my edits for Waiting on a Promise from the publisher back with nothing major to fix. However, that doesn't mean we breezed through the editing process. It took us about ten rounds back and forth working on this, that, and another thing. In the end, though, I feel like we got down to the very nit-pickiest of issues that likely would have bugged only me. I took the extra precaution of printing the story because I am better at seeing things when they are on paper and I have my trusty red pen in hand. Call it a hold-over from my days as an English teacher.
Since I've never worked with this publisher before--shoot, I've never been published before so I don't know how ANY of them work--, I think the next thing that happens is an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC). An ARC looks like a real book, but it has a small black band on the cover that denotes it's not quite ready for publication. The publisher sends it to the authors, and we have a chance to catch things like a misspelled word, missing italics, or improper punctuation. I really, really hope nothing pops out at me which was microscopic but now seems huge since I filtered down to the nit-picky level.
If it does, I'll have five months of private regret before the book goes live and everyone and their brother can comment on what a dumb mistake it was.
Until next time,