Wednesday Writing: Copyedits!

So… the big news in the writing world is: MY COPYEDITS ARE IN! Woot!

An example of an ARC: Liesl Shurtliff’s RUMP: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin.
Note the “Advanced Reader Copy” sticker and the release month info on the spine. Eep!
PS: Liesl is another 2k13 MG-er: go check her out!

This means that there are only a few tweaks left before I’m holding shiny new ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies or “galleys”) in my hands!! (For those who don’t know, ARCs are essentially paperback versions of the book, with no bar code. They are uncorrected proofs that are used for marketing purposes.) I cannot WAIT to get them.

So, my writing tip for the day (brace yourselves, it’s brutal): When you get to the point of copyedits READ YOUR BOOK OUT LOUD.

Yes, out loud. En voz alta. The whole thing. It is terrible, asocial (unless you have an adoring audience who will put up with you stopping mid-sentence every other page to say No, wait, that doesn’t sound right! How about… [insert alternate phrasing here]. I did not.), and laryngitis-inducing HOWEVER it is also really, really good for your book. Why? Because when you read stuff out loud, you catch all sorts of stilted phrasing that, for some reason, looked fantastic, even classy, on the page. But especially for those of you (us) out there who write middle grade– remember that, if you’re lucky, your book may be read aloud to someone. And you don’t want it to suck when they do.  🙂

In all seriousness though, do it. And use contractions the first time because you will regret having to go through 250 pages changing every “it is” and “we are” to “it’s” and “we’re.” Happy writing everyone!

P.S. VERY EXCITING! Tune in next week to see my COVER!!! Yes, yes, my awesome cover is heading out into the world on iceybooks next Tuesday, and next Wednesday you can come here to hear all about how the cover reveal went!

About Tara Sullivan

Author of GOLDEN BOY (2013), THE BITTER SIDE OF SWEET (2016), and TREASURE OF THE WORLD (2021). Published by Penguin Books for Young Readers Find out more at Or, follow me on Twitter: @SullivanStories
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3 Responses to Wednesday Writing: Copyedits!

  1. So excited to see your cover!

  2. Chris says:

    Awesome advice about reading aloud. I agree. I read books aloud to my kids and husband – whether they’re MG, YA, or Adult, and I find that when dialogue is… off? I end up rewording it anyway.

    I look forward to your cover 🙂

  3. I just got mine, too!!

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