I’ve been primarily writing books for the K-3 range for the past several years, and one of the educational publishers I write steadily for is Picture Window Books. I really enjoy writing for them, and I love the finished books. I think I have a good sense of writing for this age range, and I usually don’t have to do any revisions at all once I’ve turned in a manuscript. Not that nothing changes. But the changes are minimal enough that the editor makes the changes and I just see them on the galleys.
Not this time. Earlier this fall, I did a set of three animal classification books. The Amphibians manuscript had already been checked over, edited, and approved, with just a couple of questions asked of me for clarification. But yesterday morning, as I slogged through my post-holiday email and to-do list, I received a bad news email from my editor about my second manuscript going through the process, Mammals.
Basically, the manuscript needs major revision. It wasn’t as well organized as the Amphibians one. I need better organization and more specific examples. The editor said all this kindly, of course.
But how embarrassing. I did struggle with which info to include on Mammals, because there’s so much info available, and because mammals are such a diverse group. It was much easier to discuss what amphibians have in common, because amphibians are, in general, much more like each other than mammals are.
Anyway, my writing project for this week is no longer to revise a trade rhyming picture book I’m working on. It’s now to rewrite Mammals, and to create a manuscript I’m proud of and my editor is satisfied with. Wish me luck!