Five for forever, my latest novel is out "ad-interim" as a print version on Createspace.com. The eBook version will be exclusivly available on Amazon.com's Kindle Press publishing house. Which brought me—for the first time in my life—a royalty advance, and a second round of editing service for free.
I had given the manuscript already to an online editing service, where I got a good compromise between cost and delivery. I had thought the editing already pretty solid, but the editing service of a publishing house brought it to a different level. Alone the experience and learning from that one second excellent edit gave me so many improvements to my own writing filter.
Let me give you three examples from what the editor improved, apart from spelling, grammar, or wording changes:
Point of view crosscheck: Each chapter of Five for forever is told from the viewpoint of another main character. I usually had a mix of dialogue and thoughts, where the thoughts usually commented the spoken word or action.
Consistency: My main female character Louise comes from simple upbringing. A few paragraphs later I described the same upbringing as a mix of poverty and violence. Daaat, buzzer noise! Was her upbringing just poor, or was also violence involved.
Readability: The main male character Rick's kids have regular names like Charles or Britta. Real life gives those kids nicknames or abreviated names. Charles is called Charlie and uncool Britta might become Bri. Even though this might reflect real life, the editor reminded me of a great writer's truth: a story is not real life, it is a story written in an intellectual abstraction on paper (tree-based or silicone-based). So the law 'Do not to confuse the reader' trumps the law of social interaction: stick with one name throughout the book, the nicknames only are accepted in extreme emotional situations or to make a point.
All extremely good advice! I love it! (Although I hate the editing process as such)