One of the biggest worries about the editing process for authors is “How long do I get for edits?”
When it comes to deadlines the length really depends on which house you sign with. Some houses might give you a month for each round of revisions while others might give you two weeks or less. The longest deadline I’ve had is an editor is a month and the shortest a week. This means if you struggle to edit under tight deadlines you’d better start practicing.
If the deadline length is something you are worried about, ask how long you get before signing with a house so you know what you are walking into. Some authors worry about issues like marketing and royalties but forget about other important aspects like deadline lengths. If you struggle to edit under deadlines and get crazy stressed about it, be sure to ask about them before you sign. Knowing will help prepare you not just mentally, but you can start getting organized for when the edits come based on how long you get.
Getting organized with your editing is important. Keep track of your deadlines and find a system that works for you whether it’s getting as much done as possible in one sitting, or tackling a certain amount of chapters a night. Setting goals and reaching them can help keep your stress levels low. If you struggle to meet your goals consider setting up a reward system to motivate yourself. Anything from having a cookie to extra time spent on hobbies can motivate you and lessen your stress.
If you have questions for your editor, ask them right away instead of waiting until the last minute. They might take a day or two to respond and you don’t want to be rushing at the last minute to do important edits if you can help it. If your editor made suggestions you don’t understand, get some clarification. Not understanding will make the editing process harder and stress you out even more. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. You want to make your book as polished as possible, right? That means understanding how to get there.
Being comfortable with your editor can make your revisions go more smoothly. If you’re an author who gets nervous and stressed about working with new editors, once you find one you like ask the house if you can stick with the same editor as long as possible. If you have a series it’s likely that the house will try to get you the same editor for each book. Some houses let authors work with the same editor continuously while others prefer to rotate editors, but don’t be afraid to ask.
If an emergency pops up, let your house know so you can get an extension.
Meeting deadlines is hard enough without getting frazzled and making them even harder for yourself. Once you get organized and find a system that works for tackling them, meeting your deadlines will get easier.