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Question, workflow with an editor


I am sure I am missing a post about this. Sorry.

If I work on a story with an editor, do we bounce content back and forth via email, before I post it on SOL, or is there a mechanism where you post it as a draft and SOL routes it to the editor who later routes it back to the author?

Thanks for a pointer to how that part works.

Michael Loucks


Generally, I exchange emails or use Dropbox. There is no 'submit as draft' mechanism that I am aware of.

The Outsider


In working with my editor for the one story I've written, we discussed workflow beforehand to have an initial plan.

Originally, I'd email him a Markdown text file and he'd mail me back a LibreOffice document which would track the changes he'd made. As a new author, this was helpful to me because I could see the points he was trying to make.

After a while, we discovered we both had Dropbox accounts and shared a folder which both could see. I'd drop the file there, he'd drop the .odt file there once edited.

I don't believe SOL has a "draft" mechanism, though it and FineStories allow you to submit updates if you feel a chapter/story needs updates or corrections.

Hope this helps.

Ernest Bywater

I email copies to my editors as Libre Office .odt files and they email copies back. I also have a DropBox account I now keep copies of all works on, and have recently shared some folders on that with the public (for the map and drawing images) and with two editors. In each case people are only allowed to take a copy, and the editors email me an edited version.

G Younger

I use four people to either edit or proof my stories (each has their strengths and weaknesses). So you have to have a system in place. I use Word to write with and it has a Review tab. In that tab it has a button to turn on to Track Changes. That way I can see everything that my guys touch and I can either accept or reject their changes.

They also us the New Comments button to highlight text and offer their insight on. This avoids them writing in the text.

I send them the docs with a title like: Chapter 1.doc

What I ask them to do is save it with their intials: Chapter 1XYZ.doc

This way I know they changed it and who it is from. They add numbers after their initials to show versions.

I work with one at a time on a chapter, accept or reject their changes, and then send it to the next editor or proof reader. This way only the two of you are working on a document at any time, which saves a lot of headaches.

How you deliver it is up to you. Email, Dropbox or something similar. Just don't let several people loose on a chapter all at once.

Hope this helps.

G Younger

Replies:   Lumpy  Crumbly Writer

@G Younger

I do it pretty much the same way as G Younger, but less organized.

send out a file with 1 chapter in it, track changes in word, send it to one, get it back, send it to the next editor, get it back, send it to the third editor for final edit, then update the main book file with the edited chapter.

I also do it one chapter at a time, one editor at a time, and send everything through email.

Crumbly Writer

@G Younger

I send them the docs with a title like: Chapter 1.doc

What I ask them to do is save it with their intials: Chapter 1XYZ.doc

To get around that issue, I set up individual editor accounts for them to post their individual edits, while I provide a separate "Latest Copy" folder of all the final changes (in case they want to review the final version of the story, as each edit may change things).

Dropbox and "Review Changes" is powerful, but generally, editors are like authors, they do their best work during their first pass. Each time they review a work, they tend to miss more items. The same is true of authors, the longer they review any given chapter, the more typos they'll miss, because they anticipate what will appear next.

Thus the best approach is to ONLY send your editors the final version of a chapter, incorporate any changes you agree with, and report any changes you DO make (so they can object if you didn't address their particular issue). Typo corrections can usually be made without saying "Change hte to 'the'".

The key is, editors are only interested in the final copy, not in what went before, research material, back story, graphics or inspirations. They're responding to the words on the page, and other info. is immaterial, as it won't affect what readers experience.

That said, if I made substantive changes to the story, i'll run the changes by my editors, so they can catch any new typos I introduced with the changes, as well as opine whether the changes benefit or hurt the story.


Your editors are both editors suggesting content changes and proofreaders pointing out homonyms, spelling or grammar changes, where to put the apostrophe, if any, in its. (When you mean it is, I think.)

Crumbly Writer

I should add: if you only post a chapter at a type, as is typical for newbie authors and those involved in ongoing stories, sending a chapter at a time is fine, but editors are less likely to notice continuity issues (things said earlier in the story that contradict details revealed later).

If you only post complete stories (a rarer technique), then it's better to only submit the finished work, rather than a chapter as you finish each (though that's often my preferred technique). If you post everything at once, they'll understand how each chapter relates to the entire story, if you only submit a chapter at a time, they'll forget much of the story by the time they review future chapters.

Most editors will tell you they prefer finished stories, though many don't object to individual chapters as it's better motivation for new authors to receive ongoing feedback.

Neither option is "wrong", but it's best to keep your editors busy, rather than leaving them guessing for long periods.

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