Of Edits and Covers and other Minutiae

March 19, 2012 by in category Blogs tagged as , , , , , with 5 and 0
Home > Writing > Blogs > Of Edits and Covers and other Minutiae

Monica Stoner, Member at Large
I continue to be amazed to read “no one edits books anymore.” Mind you, I have read quite a few books that don’t seem to be edited at all. But it’s hard to say if the books were not edited or maybe they just were not edited well.  However that works, I do know some publishers do still edit submissions, and state so quite clearly in their websites.
I can only personally speak of my own publisher, Black Opal Books.  My books have received three edits: one for spelling and basic grammar, one for syntax and style, and a final review by the lead editor.  Each time the book comes back to me, I read it from beginning to end, considering the suggestions, made some of my own, and along the way found even more places where words could be replaced, eliminated, polished.  This after what I thought was an intensive rewrite.  There really is always room for improvement.
And how many times are we told: “The author has no control over the title, the cover, the blurb, or anything else to do with their book but the actual words?”  Lucky me, I have not experienced this situation.  The cover for My Killer My Love was collaboration between me and another Black Opal Books author.  I had the face I wanted to use (see image on the right) and I knew I wanted the face “haunting” an ancient forest.  

For my upcoming book, the edits made Teach Me To Forget more poignant than I had ever imagined it could be.  The blurb was a matter of a few messages between Lauri Wellington, editor extraordinaire, and me.  But I could NOT come up with any sort of cover.  Too many scenes crowded into my head: Bethany’s travesty of a wedding, her later success as a feature writer, her Irish setter, or Jonathan’s past life as a jet setter, his new life as a nature photographer.  Any of those would have been a decent cover, but none sang to me.  So I admitted defeat, and asked for help.  Within a day, I received this cover:
Okay, so Jonathan and Bethany never really got it on in the middle of the woods.  But for such a pretty cover, I think we can allow a little poetic license.
Teach Me To Forget will available in e-book format May, 2012 from Black Opal Books.  
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  • Anonymous
    on March 22, 2012

    Thanks, Geralyn. I think we're in a mutual admiration society. They've certainly been wonderful to me.

  • Anonymous
    on March 19, 2012


    What a great relationship you have with Black Opal Books, and what a great attitude!

  • Anonymous
    on March 19, 2012

    Hi D'Ann, how extremely exciting! And you have your horse in the picture, awesome. I'd have my dog(s) but could never decide which one.
    Hey everyone, Liv had the neatest cover! Her relative (sister?) painted it (same person did her portrait–no, that's NOT a photo)

  • Anonymous
    on March 19, 2012

    I think as the system changes there will be growing pains – and some of those growing pains involve grievous grammatical errors. As a whole, though, there will still be a value placed on clarity and, well, good writing, and editing will come back into fashion. Working with Black Opal seems to be the best of both worlds – constructive feedback on your work as well as the opportunity for control over the presentation.

  • Anonymous
    on March 19, 2012

    Great post! My first book is with the copy ed now, so excited!

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