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Publishing Update: Editorial Evaluation


In some senses, I suppose self-publishing is a supreme act of self-indulgence. Nevertheless, I actually thought it might be helpful for other budding writers, whose books might not neatly align with what mainstream publishers are looking for (like satirical novels of Canadian politics for instance), to tag along on my little self-publishing journey, such as it is. So periodically, I’ll provide these little updates on where I am in the process.

Earlier this week, I received my official Editorial Evaluation from iUniverse, the publishing house I’m using through Chapters.Indigo.ca. The publishing package I chose included a professional review of my manuscript from a seasoned editor. As you might imagine, my stomach was not quite feeling like my own as I clicked open the evaluation. With eyes squinted and face clenched, I whipped through the evaluation. How do you spell RELIEF?

All was well. I found it to be a very thoughtful and insightful review of the novel. The editor clearly read it carefully, all the way through. I believe the editor was American but only through the spelling in the evaluation not because anything written revealed any lack of understanding of Canadian politics. There were only two minor suggestions for changes and I have taken them to heart… mostly. Firstly, I have shortened the Prologue somewhat so that the pace is sustained. Secondly, the editor suggested I give consideration to eliminating the Angus diary entries that conclude most chapters so that his character emerges only through Daniel’s eyes. Interesting idea and I understand the editor’s rationale. Having said that, I feel quite attached to Angus’s point of view and the shades of his personality and character that are revealed to the reader, but not necessarily to Daniel, in these brief entries. Based on my own thoughts and the views of a small circle of friends who have read the manuscript (thank you, thank you, thank you) I’ve decided to go part way, recognizing that my proximity to the novel likely compromises my perspective somewhat. I have shortened the diary entries to ease the interruptions in Daniel’s narrative, but they’re staying in the story. As always, your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

One milestone survived in the long road to print. Next stop, professional copy editing for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and syntax… (not inexpensive, but worth every penny I figure.)

I leave you with a couple of the summary comments made by the iUniverse editor in the official Editorial Evaluation of The Best Laid Plans:

“The story moves along at an enjoyable pace throughout. The energy of Daniel, Angus and the other characters flows off the page and readers will become quite attached to these characters. Most of all, though, the voice the book is written in is original and engaging — just the perfect amounts of earnestness and cynicism mixed together.”

“The quality of the writing is high. The writer goes beyond merely giving an account of the action and enhances it describing it and commenting on it in clever ways (“The Chief of Staff’s left eyebrow lifted in a Spockian arch.” etc.).”

Breathing easier now…

5 responses to “Publishing Update: Editorial Evaluation”

  1. Jaye Sunsurn says:

    Regarding the Diaries: Admittedly my comments are limited to my experience based on the first part of the book, which is how far I have listened to so far (I am still downloading the first chapter of part II as I type this). I have to somewhat agree with the editors idea that so far the Diaries have interrupted the flow slightly, its a little different when you are listening to it and its the ending of the chapter before waiting a week before hearing it again, it fits the audio medium reasonably well to have them there. It helps round off each listening chapter and given Angus’ strong stance on things makes points which Daniel learns to follow. But in print I can see how that would take away from things, but as part II comes on, the fresh perspective of someone who hasn’t been a part of back room politics starts to be opened I suspect it will be useful commentary, even for those of us who like to think we know a little about the political game, let alone those who might not know much at all…

    Thanks for the podcast I am enjoying it a great deal and look forward listening in right until the end.


  2. Dan York says:


    First off, I definitely do appreciate you taking us along on your self-publishing journey. I do hope you continue. I’ve published several technical books through a couple of publishers but with the evolution of self-publishing and the integration with Amazon and other online services, I’ve been toying with the idea of trying the self-publishing route at some future point. So I’ll definitely be watching your own experiment! (Thanks!)

    On the diaries of Angus, I was a bit skeptical at first but now I have to say that I love them! They are a wonderful counterpoint to the main narrative and also provide touching insight into the character of Angus. Now, as your previous commenter (Jaye Sunsurn) said, it may be that they work especially well in the podcast medium. I have been listening along each week and so the diary ends my weekly listening… and then I wait for a week to hear the next installment. I don’t know how well they would work with all the chapters run together. I can see the argument made by the editor that they are disrupting the flow of the narrative… but I definitely still like them as a vehicle for advancing the movement and providing a countervailing view of what is going on within the main storyline.

    Anyway, congrats on this next stage and I look forward to hearing about how it goes next. (I do hope your copy editor is Canadian, eh?) As for me, it’s off to listen to the start of Part 2…


  3. Terry Fallis says:

    Hey Jaye and Dan, thanks for taking the time to listen and provide such thoughtful comments. I’m still learning and you’re helping me. I’m grateful…

  4. Jon Hoel says:


    My opinion- for what it is worth- would be to definitely keep the AM diary entries.
    It may be that they work better with the audio format than they would in print, but I have grown quite attached to hearing them at the end, and they form an important part of the character development for AM.

    Looking forward to hearing more episodes, and about the self-publishing journey.

  5. Terry Fallis says:

    Hey Jon,

    Thanks for your view on this. I sense an emerging consensus and I’m glad I’m on the right side of the debate. I agree. Thanks so much for sticking with it…


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