Monday, April 5, 2021

Designed Pages--the lingo


As you work for different publishers, you find they all have their own terms.

Some of them are the same or similar, others quite different.

That's why it took me a while to remember the terms at Bethany House.

So today I thought I'd talk about my current understanding of what Bethany House calls...


I just  finished the DESIGNED PAGES for book #3 of the Brothers in Arms series.

Book #1 came out in March

Book #2 A Man with a Past coming in July. And that's all finished.

Now we're doing the last polishing on #3 Love on the Range.

Bethany House, and I think this is normal, has three stages of editing.

The first I think of a revisions. Bethany House editors read the book I send in and make large suggestions.

They talk about big gaps in logic, threads that are dropped ( never really said who shot Wyatt) problems with (--My favorite...we think after chapter six, Callie (heroine) she stop threatening to shoot Seth (hero).

And they say if a character does things that make them lack appeal.  (Win and Kevin had six weeks to talk with Molly and never did, that's not what a good friend would do)

So that's the first round and the biggest round. I call that Revisions.

Next is GALLEY Edits. The book is now mostly finished except for typos and a few additional edits that haven't been noticed. For some reason in...which book was it? I used the word 'women' when I meant 'woman'. I just did it a dozen times. It was WEIRD. Why did I do that?

Anyway, I try and catch all of that in revisions so the Bethany House editors only have to fix about a THOUSAND mistakes. I've got a huge tendency to write ...he'd...when I mean...he's. Just little stuff like that. The ever're your...mixup.

Anyway, this has got to be tedious for editors and I usually accept their corrections with a lot of APOLOGIES.

And that brings me to the third and final round. DESIGNED PAGES.

What that means is, the book is finished and laid out as it will look in print.

At this point I can fix only small things. It's never come up but I think in my contract, I agree if I--at this point--make MAJOR changes--so major I make them redesign the pages--I have to pay for it. I don't know this because I've never done such a thing. But I think I promised not to.

At this point there's not a lot of changes to be made. 

But I did find one substantive revision that somehow got through all my re-reads and all the editor's re-read. 

At one point I have a woman come galloping into the ranch yard and slamming into the house right before the noon meal.

Then later I talk about how she snuck in after dark and no one knows she's there but the family. She's never stepped outside, not once. 


By some amazing wonder I caught it and fixed it, but in the designed pages edits, I cut and pasted a three paragraph stretch, then retype it with the corrections to make sure I don't go over the same word count (and word length) don't add a line.

So that's DESIGNED PAGES. Do you have any terms from other publishers that you're more familiar with?

And, because this most recent book, for the first time EVER, I was given a code for an audio book, which I have permission to give away as a prize.

Today tell me if you ever listen to audio books. Or tell me what you've heard publishers call these stages of edits.

Or tell me what you did for Easter. We got two of our kids, a son-in-law, and two grandbabies with us at CHURCH. It was really a blessing.

Remember that yesterday was the day we celebrated the beginning of salvation.


  1. Good morning, Mary! Since I haven't been here for a while, I have a question. Are we still serving virtual breakfast? If so, I can't be trusted to bake for this many, so I stopped by Panera's and picked up a few pastries and coffee. Have at it.

    I'm a little behind reading your books, but you'll be happy to know I just finished the third book in the Brides of Hope Mountain series. Loved it ... as usual!

    I've never heard the terminology Bethany House uses for their edits, but I've worked for publishers who use the terms, "macro," "substantive," "development," and "galley proofs. Not to confuse authors I work with as a freelance editor, I've simplified the terms to edit #1 and edit #2. Two passes through the manuscript. I not only work with seasoned authors who are self-publishing, but a lot of newbies as well. Of course, if I work with a publisher, I use their terminology but tell the author what I plan to do in each edit, managing their expectations.

    Anyway, this is great information. Thanks for passing it on.

    1. I like the DESIGNED PAGES term. It makes sense. I think other publishers called this stage Galley Edits....maybe? Now that's edit #2 that's called that. Anyway, whatever they call it, I love them. :)

    2. Thanks for the virtual breakfast, Barb!

    3. I love Panera. I haven't been there forever. Your virtual food is honestly delicious even if it's imaginary.

  2. Mary, how wonderful that you were able to celebrate in church and with family. Easter is such a special time and I'm glad you had a good one.
    I never heard the term designed pages but it's good to know if I ever get taken on by a different publisher. Pelican has three rounds of edits, including final galleys, they just use different terms.
    Thanks for your transparency. It is nice to know other authors have to make a "catch" just before print.
    Seekerville is good at showing new and prepublished authors what to expect. Because of you, I didn't have as many scales to rip from my eyes. Don't worry, I don't talk that way in my actual books.
    About halfway through my WIP and taking time to shore a few things up before galloping on into the homestretch. See above, I DON'T talk this way in the books. I hope.
    May be back later, have a great day,
    Kathy Bailey
    Your Kaybee
    Making it work in New Hamnpshire

    1. kaybee I know what you mean about 'shoring things up.' I'm at a spot in my WIP where I stopped writing to focus on the designed pages, and didn't write much for about a week while I got the revisions finished. And during that week, I realized a scene that should have come before the point my WIP is at, so good, I guess, except now I'm rewriting.

  3. It feels like forever since I've checked in! Hubby and I finally got the take the vacation we've been trying to fit in since Jan 2020 :) A long road trip which is somehow exhausting and relaxing at the same time. Came home in time to enjoy a day or two with the kids home from college and church. So glad this year looks at least a little different than last Easter!

    Since I'm not published, I'll speak to the question of audiobooks. I used to be such a snob about reading books in what I deemed "the right way" and that did not include listening. But a few years ago I realized how great they are! I just listened to a book--The Shell Seekers--that I've read a dozen times and it was so fresh and lovely. I've been converted :)

    1. A vacation, Glynis? I remember vacations. I'm feeling a little weepy and anxious thinking about whether I dare to leave the house. It seems pretty radical to me.

  4. What I'm wondering is how you keep all the editing, etc. straight with three books in one year! AND writing new books at the same time! You go, girl!

    I am so thankful that all six of the books I've written with Revell are available in audio book! Many people use them, including the folks who live in my dad's retirement facility. Many of them have eye problems, so reading a book is difficult. They love audiobooks! The format opens up an entirely new reading audience.

    1. Jan do they have your books going at the retirement home? That would be a pretty cool thing. For Dad to sit and listen to his daughters book!

    2. My dad has his own collection of the print books, and I donate copies to the home's library. I don't have a way to donate audio books to the residents, but I would if I could. They're some of my biggest fans! They call me, "The very famous author, Jan Drexler." LOL!

  5. Hi Mary:

    Years ago, when I would help create indexes for authors, (that is, college professors seeking free help from grad students), we called them 'proofs'. If you changed them you had to pay unless the change fit in the same space. So if you said that the word, "existential" appeared on page 17, that was really where it was.

    I believe that sometimes the proof pages were blue and didn't smell good. Not pleasant to touch. Of course, this was in the age of 'hot type' which required type setting. You didn't Xerox metal type so you needed those proofs.

    BTW: are your 'Designed Pages' set as two pages per page printed side by side? That's how the proofs came.

    A book I did for the Real Estate Education Company called them 'final edits' but they never seemed to end. I did have the bad luck of having the Agency law changed after I had written the book and before it was published! Non-fiction has that problem.

    Yes, I do listen to audio books but do best with CDs so I can play them in the car. I do have audible books but that means I am on my computer which offers many other distractions. I'd like to be in the drawing. And yes, I am braced for a frolicking good read. :)


    1. My DESIGNED PAGES are single pages but much narrower than the normal layout of a Word document. But I think I could change how it appears on my computer. But I keep it the single page (I have to scroll down so not an entire single page) because it's easiest on my eyes.'re in the drawing.

  6. I love learning more about book writing/publishing! My mind is boggled though with trying to figure out how you keep all your books straight--dealing with editing one while writing another, especially in a series. You're so prolific, too! I can't believe A Man with a Past will be out in July!! I'm excited to read it!

    1. One thing that does trip me up is names. as in...have I ever named a character Dave? Jerry? I can remember all the major characters and I'm not opposed to using a minor character's name for a later book. But especially with novellas, of which I have MANY...I just can't always gather those names to be in the front of my brain.

  7. :) I LOVE audio books. I tend to have them on when my hands are too busy to hold a book.

    I've heard the various stages of editing called a lot of things. The first major edit has been referred to as macro-edits, substantive edits, developmental edits. The second round as line-edits or micro-edits. And the third as galleys, proofs, author pages, finals, and now designed pages. :)

    Easter was fantastic here. Lovely weather, in-person church, and lunch at the kiddos' house. :)

  8. We had SUCH a beautiful Easter here. Church with two of my daughters and some grandkids. A delicious dinner. We never have mashed potatoes and it was a huge treat.
    Hunting dyed eggs. It was a joyful day.

  9. My sweet editor at Anaiah Press called the first stage Developmental Edits. The second stage were the Content Edits (which became Round one and Round two) the final edit was copy edits.

    Easter was beautiful here. The weather was perfect. Our celebration was low key but a blessing.

    1. Okay, interesting, Jamie. It's a little surprising the terms aren't standardized.


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