Copyediting! and Stuff

Today I returned from school to find that my publishers have finally completed the copyedits for Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse! In publishing, a copyeditor reads a manuscript even deeper than a normal editor does, checking for everything from consistency mistakes to style errors all the way to the gritty commas and exclamation points (of which I had many). A copyeditor also helps me make sure that everything lines up perfectly, and really adds the final bit of polish to the book before it goes off to the printers:

Visualization for what Copyedits do

Visualization for what Copyedits do

So, as today is Friday, and these edits are due on Monday, I am barricading myself in my apartment with the Lemony Snicket soundtrack, as much Anberlin as one soul can take, and all 115,000 words of my book. My goal: to attack it with as much ferocity as I can muster whilst living off microwave Mexican food and macaroni for two days and three nights. My editors left no stone unturned, as evidenced:

Copyedits for The Farfield Curse

Copyedits for The Farfield Curse

Each red marking is from one editor, and each blue marking is from another. I have two days to read and approve each edit — and the photo above is just two pages out of nearly 400! (ADDED: It should be noted, however, that every single quotation mark in this entire novel had to be changed to a different style, so the majority of those marks above are from that!)

It’s actually one of the most important steps in this process. A copyeditor can’t even change anything in the story, but they correct so many tiny mistakes that even after years of my editing, most of the manuscript looks like the two pages above! I have to approve or reject each change to make absolutely sure that everything stays exactly the way I intended when I wrote the book.

In OTHER news, my friend Kaza Kingsley has her first two Erec Rex books being re-released on April 9! Kaza and I met just after I signed with my agent, and I saw her book EREC REX: THE DRAGON’S EYE at a local bookstore and decided on random to write to her. She replied to my email, and we became good friends over the internets (she later got me as the designer for her book’s official website!). By amazing chance, she later signed with my literary agent without even knowing, and he sold her series to Simon & Schuster for re-release. If you like books with epic quests and boy heroes and dragons, you should definitely check her books out next week!

By the way, I had to turn in another project for my photography class today! The assigned concept was to show motion with shutter speed, either by freezing it or by having a little bit of blur. Tell me what you think of these (click to see them bigger):



Kaleb Nation

Kaleb Nation is an author, TV personality, and entrepreneur. Kaleb and his projects have been featured by Entertainment Weekly, CNN, HLN, Mashable, The Daily Dot,, The Huffington Post, and more. His online videos have been viewed over 60,000,000 times.

All stories by: Kaleb Nation
  • TheHolyThief

    Wow. The marks remind me of the first essay I did for japanese class. That teacher probably used an entire pen full of ink to correct my many mistakes. Luckily you only have to write the book in English.

  • TheHolyThief

    Oh, and I suppose I should tell you what I think of your photos. They’re very nice. I can’t even imagine how to capture such shots, but you’ve done it expertly. I don’t get what exactly the middle shot is showing (what’s being blurred)?

  • Jenna W

    Oh, dear. It almost makes me want to hide in the closet…Luck, Kaleb! You’re my hero, honestly. If you can do it, I can, too.

    Hope to join you in the Amazing Published People club sometime soon. 🙂

  • urcoolcarrie

    Holy crap! That looks very scary. *shields eyes*

    As for the pictures, they look great! Very cool. The first picture is my favorite. So cool that you could get that. 🙂

  • Gothhic Goddess

    I did a few years of photography in college, and I have to say, I love the first shot the most. The amount of drip is perfect, and the shadow creates visual balance. Very nice.

    The fan has a beautiful coloring to it (why I am drawn to things sepia or close to it, I have no clue) and as for the motion, it is very much there!

    As for the third one, I like it, the coloring is great (do they make you develop your own work?), but there is something about it. Like the balance is off. I do love the motion (which is very present) of the water drops… but there is something about it that makes it feel a little off balance. Hmmm.

    That’s just my humble, but honest opinion.

    As for your book, I see it being just as bad (and more than likely worse) once I finish mine up. *shiver* Scary. I feel for you, and hope you don’t feel disheartened or bullied. And if you need a homecooked meal, my hubby and I only live in the next state, lol.

  • Krystina

    That is a lot of corrections, good luck. And I love the photos and I am so jealous of your camera. When I had a similar project last semester they came out as crappy as my camera.

  • Alicia

    omg poor Kaleb!!!!! I feel sooo bad 4 u! It scares me just thinking about hwat u have 2 do… good luck though!
    as 4 the pics you did Kaleb they r awesome! I would never b able 2 take pictures like that but u did it soooo well! Awesome job Kaleb!

  • Heather

    Wowwwww…those edits scare me. But in another way they make me excited. I never get good editors for my writing, and I’m too indecisive to be that good of a self-editor. That would be so helpful, if I ever get to that point.

    And I love the pictures! Can you tell me what photography class that is? I’ve always wanted to try it, but I don’t know what pre-requisites there are. And my college has way too many photography options lol

  • Kate

    Wow red and blue are taking over your pages!
    Just wanted to say your photos are awesome! I especially love the first one, with the single water droplet. very cool. 😀

  • Michelle

    Yikes, Kaleb. That’s some scary looking stuff. Even though I know we’re all bound to make mistakes when we right, I feel like someone is attacking my baby when I get anything back covered in red marks. I feel for you.

    My very favorite photo is the first one. It’s beautiful.

    The Holy Thief, what is blurred, if I’m not mistaken, is fan blades. This one is nice, too.

    I agree with Gotthic Goddess about the third one. It does appear to be off balance, but looking closer, I don’t think it is, I think that your (?) hand just makes is appear that way. The frame with which you caught the water is fantastic, though.

    Good luck with the editing! Too bad I’m not closer, I could make you some real food to get through it. 🙂

  • becky sue

    Woah, good luck with the corrections. *cough cough* I’m totally *not* going to go get that book you suggested……. 😀
    And (in order of favorite-ness)
    1 is the faucet drip, 2 is the hand and water, and 3 is the blurred fan blades. 😀

  • Catherine

    hey Kaleb, well I absolutely love your first picture. Not only the drip but also the symmetry (i think i spelt that right, but it looks weird). I really like the 2nd one too but the third one i don’t like as much – i think maybe something subtler than a hand would have been better. But that’s just my opinion 😀

  • Reagan

    Kaleb, I’ve been following your blogs for a LONG time now, and I hope you realize how proud all of your followers are of you getting published, me especially! I’m in the process of getting published myself, and I know how hard it is. Frankly, I’ve not even gotten an agent yet, so I know I don’t even know the half of it! Good job, Kaleb! (And could you help some of us not-so-lucky young writers?)

  • Wren

    So, you weren’t supposed to photograph the same thing going at the same velocity using different shutter speeds? That’s what my sister did, and it’s a lot easier to tell the diffference when the pictures are all of the same…thing, either water OR fan blades. EH.
    Your pages look so funny! And scary at the same time. I tried to zoom in to read them, for a sneak peek, but SOMEONE obviously doesn’t want me doing this and didn’t take an exactly clear picture.
    First word on the first page is Bran, though.
    Again, congratulations!!!

  • Tobey

    WOW! that’s a ridiculous amount of editing…good luck with that…. I really like the picture with the single drop…very artsy!! The shadow is great!

  • Claire Gonzalez

    I zoomed in on the two edited pages, and even though it was REALLY blurry, I could make out it out. It’s one of your first chapters that you let us read, isn’t it??

    anyways, i LOVE your pictures. You have a great eye.
    The third picture was off balance, and I believe that it’s from the shadow above/on the hand. (it’s on the upper right hand corner)

  • Kristina

    Kaleb, I’m in love with those photographs! I took photography I last semester and loved it! It’s so much fun, and you’re excellent at it, 🙂

  • Vivian

    Good luck on your copyedits! Sounds like hard work. I love hearing all about the publishing process, preparing myself for the day when I, too, become a bestselling author like you are bound to be!

    I really like the first of your photos there, the drip one. It has a little yin-yang symbol in the waterdrop… or is that just me?

  • Stephanie K.

    Did you stock up on your Eclipse mints as well? lol My mom had some of those in her car one morning. I saw them and thought, “KALEB!” lol

    I really like the first picture. =] The one with the sink and water drop.

    Good luck on everything, Kaleb! =] I’m going to be buying your book the DAY it comes out. Now only if I could get it signed…

  • Genevieve81

    Great photo’s, I am a big fan of sepia and black & white. Taking a photo class is really great, you can learn so much. Photography is a fun hobby and a great way to relax 🙂 My fav part is developing the pictures.

  • Claire

    Hi Kaleb–I was lucky enough to be the copy editor Sourcebooks hired to work on Bran Hambric. This is the first time I’ve seen an author put the marked-up manuscript up on the web–it does look sort of terrifying like that! I hope my comments were useful. Have fun working through it–I know it’s a lot to take in, but I think you’re going to wind up with a great book.

  • Zachary

    Hey, Kaleb! I will be out at Barnes and Noble at 7:30 a.m. to buy a copy of your book (or maybe fifty!). I am so happy for you. On your blog, can you tell us you are going to have any signings? I would LOVE to get my copy of Bran Hambrick signed.

    Keep up the amazing work. You rock!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.