The Spring Edit

Get those mops and brooms, it’s time for spring cleaning! It always feels so good when you rid the house of the remnants of winter. All those months with the house closed up created a haven for mold, mildew, and stuffy air. Most of us start thinking about ways to make ourselves look a bit better as well in preparation for summer.

You could say the same goes for your manuscript. Freshen it up with a nice spring edit! Get rid of that clutter of commas, thats, and justs. Streamline those sentences until they look good in a bathing suit. A freshly edited manuscript just feels good! A good editor is kind of like a good housekeeper. She picks up after you, puts everything in its proper place, and makes everything shine.

Now’s the time to get in the queue. At times like this when my queue is short, turn around is usually four to six weeks. (This may change depending on the amount of work needed on your book.) Later in the year when it gets fuller, turn around slows down. Just like a good cleaning, a good edit takes some time, so be sure you add enough time for a good edit before you publish or start making the rounds with your story.

After the Edit

You’ve opened up the manuscript you got back from your editor and you may be amazed at how many changes have been made. If they’re using Word’s Tracking Changes, you’ll find your manuscript may be very colorful indeed. Now what?

If you’re not familiar with Word’s Tracking Changes, now’s the time to get to know it better. In Word 2010, you’ll find it under the Review tab. It’s the fourth section from the right. Proceeding left to right, you’ll see Proofing, Language, Comments, Tracking, Changes, Compare and Protect. Right now we’re going to look at Tracking. Your editor clicked on Track Changes to make her edits. This makes all changes visible and puts them in a different color than the original text. If you need to make changes and send the manuscript back, you’ll want to make sure Track Changes is enabled so your changes are made in a third color. This makes it easy for your editor to follow your changes.

If you’re ready to accept or reject changes, move one more topic to the right and find Changes. If you click Accept, the program will accept the change that is highlighted, making it black text, then it will move to the next change.  If you pull down the menu from the tiny little arrow under Accept, you can choose to accept and move on, just accept the change and remain there, accept all changes shown, or accept all changes in the entire document.

I highly recommend going through each change individually. By accepting all changes in the document, you may miss a spot where the edit accidentally included a space that was supposed to remain there, or maybe you don’t agree with a suggested edit. While it may seem tedious to go through the edits one by one, it will save you time and effort later when the document is all in black again and you can’t find what you’re looking for easily.

Just to the right of Accept is an icon with an X. This is for rejecting a suggested edit. If you use the drop down menu provided here, you’ll have the same options as were available under Accept.

Below the Reject icon are two icons with arrows, one facing left and one facing right. These will take you to the previous change or the next change.

After you’ve gone through all the edits, I suggest you do another spell check. Again, this helps find those little areas where spaces or other issues cropped up when edits were being made. Don’t want two spaces between a word or no space between two words. :)

After the spell check, it needs another read. Yes, you need to read it again. If you have the funds, now is the time for a proofread. Some people find reading a manuscript backwards will help them find any tiny errors that may have escaped everyone that has seen it. It does happen.

Once your manuscript is all clean, make sure it is formatted in the form required from the agent/publisher you are submitting it to. In the case of self-publishing, this means you need proper indents for each paragraph (often without using tabs), proper chapter headings, page numbers if applicable (not used in ebooks), and so on. If you’ve got it all done according to the format you wish to use, your manuscript may be ready to head out into the world.

HerStory Launch!

In ancient times, women were regarded as sacred. They were thought to hold the mystical power of creation—responsible for the continuation of our species. With the rise of Science and Religion, these myths were dispelled and their plight began.

HerStory: Fiction Honoring Women’s History Month is a collection of Flash Fiction and Short Stories from today’s top authors featuring female characters that exemplify strong strength of mind, body, and character. Some of these tales are based on real people while others are purely fictional. However, all are standing up for themselves and what they believe in.

Grab yourself a glass of wine or favorite hot beverage and get comfortable as you read about the lives of women who will light the fire in your soul.

It’s finally here. HerStory. Available to the masses. And to honor release day, we’re having a party. Use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win some terrific prizes. *U.S. residents only*

Here’s what’s up for grabs.


First Grand Prize
First Grand Prize

Because they have the same agenda: empowering girls/women, Keira’s Kollection owner Mr. Wagstaff has graciously agreed to donate a Strong is Beautiful T-shirt. One very lucky woman is not only going to walk away with a paperback copy of HerStory and be empowered through words, but she will also be showing her empowerment right there on her shirt.

And that’s not all, the grand prize winner also gets a pair of earrings from Cathy from Etsy, who runs Yesware. The earrings sparkle one side and have a message on the other side: the greatest story never told.
Only, we’re telling it, the authors of HerStory. We are telling it.


Author Laura DeLuca has donated an incense diffuser to go along with some handmade soap from Greenchild Creations.

And we’re throwing an e-book into this mix. Why soap and diffusers? What does that have to do with women’s history?

In HerStory, Mathilda of Ringelheim runs a bath house. It seems appropriate to honor herstory this way.

AND as Mathilda seems to know, every woman needs soap and every woman needs time to relax. So one lucky winner will take a nice long shower with her fantastic handmade soap, set her diffuser on a table, and curl up with HerStory on her kindle. Who says you can’t be relaxed and empowered at the same time? (and smell good)


Another donation from Laura DeLuca: an ebook, a Japanese tea set, and an Oriental incense diffuser. How does this tie into HerStory?

In Please Stay, Asuka, a Japanese wife of the 1600s, is preparing the evening meal while awkwardly trying to discuss a matter–somewhat delicate–but of great importance with her husband.

As you get lost in your ebook, in Asuka’s story (penned by Becca Diane), you can pretend you are there. Perhaps you feel your husband’s penetrating stare. But you serve him his tea, straighten your spine, and say what needs to be said…then wait, breath held, for his reply, incense lightening the tension in the air…


One lucky winner will have a chance to make their voice heard on the radio…with a $25 Amazon gift card burning a hole in their pocket!

HerStory goes behind the scenes to locate the stories of women who lived, laughed, and touched the lives of generations…

Now, here is your chance to have your story told to the world….or your mother’s…it’s your chance to talk about the most inspiring woman or women in YOUR life. Shout it out! Tell listeners everywhere about this amazing person. Honor her!

This prize is being donated by Indie Reviews Behind the Scenes.


Four of these tins of mints are being donated by the Unemployed Philosophers Guild. That means four lucky winners are going to win a tin of mints to carry around in their pockets and every time they look at the tin, they’ll be empowered!

The tin is also the perfect size to serve as a pillbox once the mints are gone. This is something you can keep for a LONG time.


Author and editor Tara Chevrestt has a secret addiction and hobby. It makes her feel like an old lady, so she keeps it under wraps, but now the truth is out…

She likes to cross stitch!!!

And with the suffragette tales (Sister Suffragettes by Dahlia DeWinters and Chevrestt’s own From You No and Silent Suffragette) in the back of her mind, she found a pattern on Etsy by Patternbird and set to stitching.

Two lucky winners will walk away with these. They are 3.25″ by 6″ and have a hard backing so they may be placed on a wall.


Donated from Rakestraw Book Design.

Toni Rakestraw, one of the HerStory contributors, is stitching this hat so one lucky reader can–in her mind–march in a suffragette parade as she reads HerStory. Or perhaps this is something Margaret Sanger would have worn as she leaves the workhouse in The Woman Rebel.


You’ve heard the term multi-published and many of HerStory’s authors can place that before their name, but how about multi-talented?

Author Morgan Summerfield can not only write as she shoes us in Adella, but she can paint too! She is kindly donating a painting 27″ wide by 11″ high, titled Morning Poppies. The frame is handmade with real wood and she stretches all her own canvases. It is hand-painted-by her!-in multi media.

And last, but certainly not least, we have a lovely Coco Chanel quote pendant donated by the lovely Jewelry Designs by Lula. One winner will win this delightful pendant that says  A girl should be things: WHO and WHAT she wants.

I could not have said it better.

Enter for all prizes using the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is for three weeks. Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond with their snail mail addresses. After 48 hours, new winners will be chosen.

Thank you and enjoy HerStory! Be empowered! Learn something. Believe in yourself and womankind.

Buy links:

Barnes and Noble


a Rafflecopter giveaway