Hey guys!

A couple of weeks ago, THE ORPHAN QUEEN went up on Edelweiss. For those of you who don’t know, Edelweiss is a catalog-hosting site that a lot of publishers use to help booksellers, librarians, teachers, and book bloggers keep up with the books they have coming out in the next couple of seasons. Every book’s page gives a lot of information about the book, like the on-sale date, announced print run, marketing plans, and even the trim size.

So what does it mean that THE ORPHAN QUEEN went up on Edelweiss?

There’s also a function in Edelweiss that allows publishers to upload proofs of books (basically advance reader copies — ARCs) for librarians, booksellers, and reviewers to download and read early. They’re not final copies, but often pretty close. This is particularly cool, because not everyone can get paper ARCs, which are expensive to produce and ship. Plus, a lot of people just like reading on their ereaders.

But there’s something different about OQ’s file — which is that it’s not a complete book. The file that is on EW is a partial, the first third of the book. (All of Part One, about 35k words and 150 pages.)

You may be asking why.

It’s true, it’s different, and it’s something I was sort of hoping I’d be able to get away with not addressing, but I’ve had a lot of questions about it. (Which is good, since it means people care!) And what it comes down to is this: most people are good and trustworthy with the eARCs they’re given, but not all are so honorable.

My first book, INCARNATE, was on a similar site in late 2011, a few months before it came out. The day after it went up, I got an alert saying the unfinished copy of my book–this file my publisher had entrusted people with–was up on a pirate site to be downloaded illegally. Months before the book was released.

I’m definitely not the only one this has happened to. I’ve seen so many authors upset about their unfinished books being shared illegally before the they are released. This hurts authors, publishers, and readers, too.

Before THE ORPHAN QUEEN went onto Edelweiss, my publisher and I had a chat. They know how strongly I feel about piracy and wanted to make sure I was all right with the decision to put my book up there. I’ll be honest, my gut response was no! I’d just watched a friend react to her debut appear on pirate sites five months before its release. Through her, I experienced the confusion and betrayal all over again. Someone the publisher trusted enough to give early access to decided to share the file. They betrayed the publisher and the author, who they claim they want to support.

But after some thought, we came up with a compromise: a sample. A big sample, not just the first couple of chapters anyone will be able to find on Amazon in a few months. That way, when the sample is pirated, it will actually do what pirates say illegal file-sharing does: spread awareness about the book.

I hate that honest, trustworthy people are being punished for the actions of others. It’s not fair. After seeing some of the responses to OQ’s file being only a sample, I almost regretted the decision, because I love my readers and I want them to be happy.

But then I got a notification. Muso (the service I pay for every month to help identify pirated books and send takedown notices) sent an email saying another illegal file had been detected. What do you think it was?

An illegal copy of the INCARNATE eARC that was up in 2011.

So I don’t regret the decision to put only a sample of THE ORPHAN QUEEN on Edelweiss. I know how those illegal files stick around. But I do regret that nice people are being punished for the immoral behavior of others. That makes me really angry.

I hope there’s a better solution out there. We’re going to keep looking and keep experimenting, but right now it looks like publishers are leaning toward samples to keep books from being pirated early. And I hope you’ll bear with us and continue to be understanding.

Also, I hope you do decide to request the sample of THE ORPHAN QUEEN. I know it’s harder to review a sample, but this one is big enough that it should give you an idea of where the story is going and whether you’re interested enough to continue with it. You can always request a paper ARC from your contact at HarperCollins, or use my form.

I’ve seen a lot of questions about how to review samples, so if anyone has a good method, feel free to say something in the comments; there are a bunch of people who’d like your advice.

Edited to add: A lot of people are asking why the sample wasn’t clearly marked on the Edelweiss page. You feel tricked. I get it. I would, too. I don’t know why it wasn’t marked, but I’ve asked for someone to fix that, which is all I can do.

Originally published at Jodi Meadows. You can comment here or there.

Monthly Roundup – August


I don’t want to believe tomorrow is September, but every device in the house tells me that is the truth.

What I’ve been working on:

I am still working on the sequel to THE ORPHAN QUEEN. One day I hope to be working on something else.

Actually, my deadline is in about two weeks, so it won’t be much longer. At least until edits come back.

But I’m making really good progress now. I had a revelation a while ago, about what was holding me back on this story, and now that I’ve been able to let that go, the story has been moving a lot more smoothly. I’m really close to the end, and while my deadline being two weeks away is alarming — because that’s what deadlines do — I’m confident I’ll make it and be able to turn in a draft I can be proud of.

Then I just have to write the four Black Knife novellas and my part in the collaboration novel with Brodi and Cynthia, and a proposal for another novel so hopefully I can continue getting paid and keep the ferrets living the high life.


What I’ve been reading:

THE STORYSPINNER by Becky Wallace — This is an epic tale about a Performer working for a (handsome!) duke while mythical Keepers search for a lost heir, and girls fitting our heroine’s description keep turning up dead. (Spoiler: I blurbed this one because I loved it.) — Not released yet.

WINTERSPELL by Claire Legrand — It’s The Nutcracker . . . but much, much darker, with mobs, fairies, and clockwork. Bonus, it’s a standalone! (Has a novella companion called SUMMERFALL, which I haven’t read yet.) — Releases in September.

UNDER A PAINTED SKY by Stacey Lee — A Western about two girls running from the law, disguised as boys. Cowboys, violins, and one of the greatest friendships I’ve read in a long time. I can’t recommend this one enough. (Also, I blurbed this one too.) — Not released yet.

OUTCAST (a DEFIANCE novella) by CJ Redwine — You (should) know that I’m a huge fan of CJ’s. Her third book in the DEFIANCE trilogy came out in August, and this novella shortly before that. Of course I had to read this one. If you love the DEFIANCE novels, this is a must read about Quinn and Willow.

What I’ve been yarning:

I finally finished the scarf I was knitting for my niece.

And here’s part of it on the blocking wires.

I also finished spinning the merino/silk on my spindles. I plied it on my wheel and ended up with about 549 yards. It’s still drying, so no final picture of it, but here’s a (scandalous!) picture of it in the bath.

What the ferrets have been up to:

I built a thing and the ferrets decided it was actually a ferret magnet.

Other stuff you might be interested in:

I’m writing a series of four novellas about the vigilante Black Knife from the Orphan Queen world! Here’s the announcement.

While I don’t have enough ARCs of THE ORPHAN QUEEN to fulfill all the requests for them, there’s a form here to request. It’s not a guarantee you’ll get one, but it’s the best I can do.

THE ORPHAN QUEEN is also on Edelweiss — as a sampler. (More on that in another post.) It’s the entire Part One of the book, and I think you should download it.

On September 20, I’ll be at the CBC Book Rave in New Rochelle, New York, along with a ton of great authors. There will be signing. And bowling.

On September 4, I’m signing with Sarah Maas and Leah Cypess. The event will be at Bethesda Library at 7pm. If you’re in the area, you should come by and see us!!

Since we hit 4k “want to reads” on Goodreads, I wrote out a new teaser for you! Next teaser is at 5k adds, and if we make it to 5k by the time I finish my draft of OQ2, I’ll do a giveaway!

I got some of my hair dyed blue!! And I’ve spent every day since then looking like part mermaid and/or Smurf. Hopefully the color will stop transferring onto my skin soon. Heh. But otherwise, I really like it!! This picture is still at the salon. The nice stylist tried to curl my hair, not realizing it would last maaaybe five minutes.

Originally published at Jodi Meadows. You can comment here or there.

News: Black Knife novellas


Black Knife Novellas announcement

That’s right: there will be four novellas starring the vigilante Black Knife (if you see him, don’t engage him yourself — he’s dangerous — but alert the proper authorities), releasing between THE ORPHAN QUEEN and book 2.

These are prequel novellas, but as with PHOENIX OVERTURE and the INCARNATE series, you probably want to read everything in the order of publication, not in chronological order. (I keep doing this to you? I keep doing this to me!)

So you’ll want to read:

OQ novella 2
OQ novella 3
OQ novella 4
OQ book 2

While you can certainly read the books (and novellas) without reading the novellas (or books), I don’t think you’ll want to. Though if you have magic, you might want to take extra caution when Black Knife is around. Flashers* who encounter him seem to vanish forever.

*common term for magic users.

Originally published at Jodi Meadows. You can comment here or there.

Monthly Roundup: July


Aaaaalmost didn’t make it this month. But I am determined!

What I’ve been working on: I have been writing the sequel to The Orphan Queen. I will probably be writing this book for the rest of my life.

Actually, I’m just kidding. I’ve had a lot of stops and starts on this book, but I’ve finally started moving on it. What happened with it is a whole ‘nother post, and one worth sharing, too. (As soon as I’ve finished my book.)

What I’ve been reading: I’ve had a chance to read some great fantasy recently. Both of these books are forthcoming — October and September respectively, I think. So you don’t have to wait long!

SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch – a fantasy about a group of exiles trying to reclaim their kingdom. The worldbuilding is really cool; four of the kingdoms are named after seasons, because it’s always that season there! Our heroes are from the kingdom of Winter.

THE JEWEL by Amy Ewing – sort of a dystopian fantasy, where the royals can no longer bear children, so they rely on surrogates from the poor districts, which they buy at auction. There were a lot of things I liked about this one — the writing, the world, the characters, the romance — but this one also had music.

What I’ve been yarning:

A while ago, my mother-in-law called to say my five-year-old niece wanted me to make her a scarf. She wanted it to be “hot pink, with purple too, maybe.” It’s like she knew exactly what was sitting in my yarn closet.

I’ve also been spinning.

What the ferrets have been up to:

Other stuff you might be interested in:

THE ORPHAN QUEEN reached 3,000 adds on Goodreads this month, so I shared another teaser! When I asked the people what kind of teaser they wanted, they voted kissy teaser.

Related, on a whim the other night, I decided that that if OQ reaches 5,000 adds on Goodreads by the time I finish this draft of OQ2 (tricky, since I know only that it will be before September 16), I will write a teaser in gold ink (swoon!) and I will give it to someone. As a giveaway. Maybe you.

ARCs of THE ORPHAN QUEEN have arrived!

I’ve already gotten a lot of questions about how to get one of these ARCs. There are a limited number of advance copies, and it’s not my call where they go, but because I know many people want want but don’t have a contact at HarperCollins to ask, I’ve made a request form.

The form is not a guarantee that you’ll receive an ARC, but it is a way to get your request in front of my publisher.

And some fantastic news: I’m co-writing a book! With Brodi Ashton and Cynthia Hand, two of my writing besties. MY LADY JANE (which you can already add on Goodreads) is a comic retelling of the tragedy of Lady Jane Grey. YUP.

We made a video to celebrate.

Originally published at Jodi Meadows. You can comment here or there.

Monthly Roundup: June


What happened to June? I feel like this month got away from me.

What I’ve been working on: Still OQ2. I mentioned last month that I decided to start over on it, and that turned out to be really good for me. The rewrite has been going a lot more smoothly. Right now, I’m about 33,000 words into the story, and it’s growing quickly since I’ve reached a point where I’m able to bring in parts from the old draft, with some revision.

The other thing I’ve been working on is the first pass pages for THE ORPHAN QUEEN. That is, the entire book printed in the format it’s going to be when it becomes a real book! I get to see all the interior design and the fonts . . . ugh, you guys, it’s so gorgeous.

Pass pages is also the last time I get to make changes to the book, so it’s really stressful, too. I start second guessing myself on every other sentence and kind of groaning that everyone who gets an ARC is going to read that sentence.

I’m being dramatic. It’s not really that bad. But since this is the last time I get to work on the book, there’s another layer of urgency — even though I’ve been over the book a zillion times. (Want to know more about first pages? I blogged about them here.)

What I’ve been reading: It was yet another light reading month since I’ve been so busy writing, but I read some good stuff!

  • IN THE END by Demitria Lunetta: This is the sequel to IN THE AFTER, which I loved. IN THE END does not disappoint. It’s just as exciting an ending as you could hope for. The duology is available now, so I think you should pick it up! 
  • THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen: This book doesn’t come out for another week or so (I think?), but I decided I was on a mission to read as many recent and upcoming fantasy books as possible, and was loaned the ARC. TEARLING is adult with YA appeal; I think it has elements of both age ranges. The thing I loved best about this one was the cool worldbuilding. I really can’t wait to find out more. 
  • STITCHING SNOW by R.C. Lewis: This one doesn’t come out for a few more months, but I managed to get an early copy of it thanks to a) sneakiness and b) outright begging. I really enjoyed this book. Lots of action, space travel, and some swoony romance. Thing Snow White with robots — in space. 

What I’ve been yarning:

In addition to some spinning, which I haven’t photographed, I just finished this. I can’t say what it is yet because it’s a gift, but look! It has sparkles!

What the ferrets have been up to:

Other stuff you might be interested in:

I’ve decided that in order to entice people to add THE ORPHAN QUEEN to their Goodreads shelves, I’ll post a teaser for every thousand adds it gets. Here’s the 2k teaser. (And, as mentioned above, some things could change from the pass pages.)

And in case you missed the cover reveal, here it is!

OrphanQueen HC C

If you’d like to preorder, here are some links: AmazonBooks-a-MillioniBookstore, IndieBoundPowells. (More coming soon!)

Originally published at Jodi Meadows. You can comment here or there.

Cover reveal: THE ORPHAN QUEEN


Hello friends!

It’s time to share the cover for my next novel, THE ORPHAN QUEEN! And since I know no one is going to read this part before scrolling down, I’ll just skip any more introductory things. . . .

OrphanQueen HC C

add to goodreads

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.

So, you might have some questions. (Or you might not and I’m just talking to myself.)

1. Can I marry it?

This was actually my first question too. I was told no, because it’s it not legal and I’m already married, but I’m not sure those are good enough reasons we can’t all marry the cover.

2. When does THE ORPHAN QUEEN come out?

March 10, 2015. That could still change, and of course I will tell you if it does.

3. Why March? The INCARNATE novels always came out the last week of January.

I dunno. It’s not my call. The making of publishing schedules is as mysterious to me as how someone found a coffee bean and thought, “Oh I know, I should grind it up and run water through it.” It doesn’t make sense to me, but the result is good.

4. Is the model on the cover Wilhelmina?

Yep. Doesn’t she have pretty hair?

5. What about that cloak? Does she wear it in the story?

You’re getting nosy. But no, she doesn’t wear it. And before you ask why she’s wearing it on the cover, it’s symbolic. See how it’s all mirror-y and reflect-y? That’s important. But also it’s just really pretty.

Raise your hand if you definitely want a cloak like that of your own, though. *raises hand*

6. Does the cover give us any more hints about the story, symbolic or otherwise?

Wil does use daggers, so that’s real. There are mountains, so those are real. And what looks like fog on the mountains is actually world-destroying wraith. The city on the right is Skyvale, the mirrored city. (Mirrors again!) And the castle on the left is also a real thing.

Basically, yes, there are a lot of hints about the story in the cover, but they’re all pretty subtle, which is just the way I like it.

7. Who designed this cover?

The phenomenal Erin Fitzsimmons, whose covers you’ve definitely seen before. (TAKEN by Erin Bowman. CRUEL BEAUTY by Rosamund Hodge. WHAT’S LEFT OF ME by Kat Zhang. HOUSE OF IVY AND SORROW by Natalie Whipple. Many, many others.)

8. Can I share this cover on my blog/other form of social media omc there are so many?

Yes! I’d appreciate if you link back here so people can see the flap copy and the answers to the questions they didn’t ask, but feel free! I hope you do share! The more people talk about the book, the happier I am.

You can add THE ORPHAN QUEEN to your Goodreads shelf! And preorder! Amazon, Books-a-MillioniBookstore, Powells. (More coming soon!)

So, do you love the cover??





Originally published at Jodi Meadows. You can comment here or there.

Monthly Roundup: May


Hiii! Look! Two months in a row with a roundup thing.

What I’ve been working on: OQ2! A couple of weeks ago I finished the first draft of OQ2, and while there’s still a lot of work to do on it, it’s so nice to have that first draft completed.

This one was a huge challenge for me — for a lot of reasons, but in part because I’ve been working on it so darn long. I can usually knock out a first draft in a couple of months, but this one took me from August 2013 to May 2014 and included a rewrite of the first 40,000 words. (I wasn’t working on it 100% of that time; I still had lots of other things to do, like editing and copyediting OQ, not to mention travel.)

So having that draft out of the way is a big relief because it means the story, for the most part, is there. And while there’s a long way to go before it’s ready for anyone else to look at, it’s getting closer.

I’ve also been playing with a secret project off and on, and in mid-May I went to Salt Lake City with Brodi Ashton and Cynthia Hand to work on it a little more. Lots of progress was made! And that’s all I can tell you about that.

What I’ve been reading:

  • THE OTHER WAY AROUND by Sashi Kaufman — a YA contemporary about a boy who runs away to join a band of traveling performers. Dumpster diving, squatting, and living out of the back of a van: this book definitely doesn’t romanticize the whole “running away” thing.
  • GAME by Barry Lyga — the sequel to I HUNT KILLERS. I read this one on the plane to Salt Lake City. This book might be the reason why my row-mates were uncomfortable. And why I got stopped for the pat-down in security.
  • REBEL BELLE by Rachel Hawkins — Think Legally Blonde meets Buffy. If you’re a fan of Rachel’s HEX HALL series, then you must read this one as well.

What I’ve been yarning: Not a lot, to be honest. I’m still working on the same socks I’ve been working on. I’ve spun some stuff, though. The rest of “Bliss” (a suri alpaca, silk, and cashmere blend, mmm) is spun up and plied, ready to be washed.

I also started working on “Ocean Storm.”

What the ferrets have been up to: There is some bad news. The day I left Salt Lake City for home, my husband called to tell me Hiro wasn’t doing well. He hadn’t been sick before, so we were both surprised . . . And yet not surprised. I’ve lost a few ferrets before to this sort of cancer that’s devastatingly fast. It takes them within days.

I didn’t get home until 1am after a day full of airport delays, shuttle rides, and a two-hour drive from DC, but though I wasn’t sure what was wrong with Hiro (I hadn’t seen him yet, just heard descriptions of what was going on), I knew if I didn’t visit the ferret room before bed I would regret it. On the phone earlier, I’d asked my husband to put together one of the small cages for Hiro so he could have a safe, quiet place, and when I looked in, Hiro was lying in the same position my husband had left him. I took him out and held him for a long time, and though he was breathing, he didn’t really move. He felt thin and weak.

After a good, long snuggle, I made him comfortable in a t-shirt nest, kissed his head, and told him I love him. In the morning, he was gone.

I very nearly wasn’t home for it. I’d looked into making a detour into Texas for one night, but it wasn’t going to work out. And as sad as I am to have missed the time with my family, I’m glad I came home instead. It wasn’t very long after I tucked him in that Hiro died, so I can only imagine he was waiting for me.

Goodbye, Hiro. Like all ferrets, gone too soon.

Other stuff you might be interested in:

The Salt Lake City Library is amaaaazing.

And at no point did I ever get over the enormity of the Rocky Mountains.

  • Someone had a question about something sad that happened at the end of ASUNDER. I answered it here
  • Kat Zhang drew Ana from INCARANTE.
  • Reading Rainbow is coming back! (Who else grew up with this show? MEEEE.)
  • The cover for THE ORPHAN QUEEN will be releasing very soon! Like, within the next couple of weeks, I think. I hope you’re prepared for the pretty. In the meantime, I’ve been taking pictures on my morning walks every time I see something a little bit Orphan Queen-ish. When you read the book, you will know why I found this sight particularly terrifying. (Although beautiful.)

Originally published at Jodi Meadows. You can comment here or there.

Monthly Roundup


I’ve been pretty awful at blogging, even though I really want to keep this thing going, so I thought I might try my own version of a monthly roundup with what I’ve been working on, reading, and all of that. In the comments, let me know what you think, and whether you’d like me to keep doing this!

What I’ve been working on: I am (still) working on OQ2. It seems to me like it’s taking forever, but that’s mostly because I’ve had to start and stop when other things come up. But A) it’s not even due for another few months, and B) I have about 1/4 left to go.

Last week, a friend read what I have so far and informed me that it’s actually in pretty good shape. Which is a huge relief, as you can imagine! I’m going to try to power through the rest of it in the next few weeks.

And you know what’s coming up soon? The cover for THE ORPHAN QUEEN. I have seen it. I have actually been using it as my background while I work on the end of OQ2. And yes, it is amazing. (Before you ask, I’m not sure when it will be revealed. Maybe the end of May? Maybe June? It’s hard to say. But definitely before the Harper catalogue goes live.)

What I’ve been reading: Not enough, but I have read some good things. Here are a few of my favorites from what I’ve read so far this year, and I’ll try to do better next month. Heh.

  • FRENZY by Robert Lettrick – a middle grade horror novel about a rabid animal attack on summer camp. Lots of campers die. That’s not even a spoiler. It happens right away. A few campers must brave the animals to escape and find help.
  • REAL MERMAIDS DON’T HOLD THEIR BREATH by Helene Bourdreau — the second in a middle grade series about an aqua-phobic mermaid looking for her mom. These books are delightful. I have the next two books in the series sitting on my TBR for when I have a mermaid emergency.
  • THE WINNER’S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski — One of the things about loving fantasy books so much is that I’ve become incredibly picky about them. The buzz surrounding THE WINNER’S CURSE made me a little nervous, but I loved reading about the girl who wins a slave boy . . . and the true price of her victory. (One note: The cover reads romance. The flap copy reads romance. While there is a romance — and you all know I love romance — I’d say it’s actually a secondary plotline. There’s a lot more going on in here than kissing.)
  • IMAGINARY GIRLS by Nova Ren Suma — This book had been warming my TBR pile since the day it came out. The creepy story about a girl and her codependent relationship with her (magic???) sister drew me in right away. Whenever someone asks me what magic realism is, and have I seen it done well, I’m going to give this book to them.
  • TEXAS GOTHIC Rosemary Clement-Moore – I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked up this novel. I’d read one of the authors books before — The Splendor Falls — and really liked it, but having a giggle fit by page one . . . I don’t think I was prepared. A girl and her sister go to watch over the family’s (witchy) farm. Shenanigans ensue.

What I’ve been yarning: I’ve been in a sock mood lately. When I first started knitting years ago, I knit a ton of socks — for myself and for others — but now some of those are getting holes and I’m really tired of darning them. I need more socks. More!

What the ferrets have been up to: Oh, you know. General cuteness. Adorableness. And summer must be coming (I hope), because Katniss is starting to lose her hood. (Don’t mention it to her. She’s really self-conscious about it.)

Other stuff you might be interested in:

  • CJ Redwine has a great blog post called “10 Things New Writers Need to Know.”
  • I’m going to The King’s English Bookshop with Cynthia Hand and Brodi Ashton. Come see us on May 21 at 7pm
  • I got a new bookcase and transferred my TBR books to it. After this picture was taken, I transferred my desk TBR to it, also. I like to gaze and pet the books.

Originally published at Jodi Meadows. You can comment here or there.

Copyedits! (I really like them.)


It’s copyedits time!

Right before I headed off to California, my copyedits for THE ORPHAN QUEEN arrived. (This happened last year, too, with INFINITE, but this time I was able to get an extension. Hurrah! This year I am not doing copyedits on a plane and finishing them while battling a post-tour plague.) (This year I avoided the post-tour plague. Thank commas.)

So, if you know me at all, you can probably figure out that I love copyedits. Why? Well, because I like grammar and punctuation (I swear to it — oh my commas!) and this stage is usually pretty quick. I don’t have to make any big changes to the story (typically) and I always learn something from my copyeditor.

Some of you might be asking what the copyeditor does, besides catching typos (which is more than enough to keep her busy, with me). Well, her job is to put commas after my wells (since I almost never do — I’m sure she wishes I’d learn) and other grammar/punctuation things. She also notes continuity errors, suggests minor sentence changes for clarity, and a ton of other unsung-hero type things. Copyeditors do all the things you don’t notice in prose — the things you shouldn’t notice in a clean book.

It can be a little intimidating to get copyedits, though. You get this huge manuscript back with red marks all over it (or whatever color they like to use), and a ton of stickies or comment bubbles with notes asking for clarification or citing style guides for changes made in the manuscript.

My copyedits used to come as a stack of pages, but last year they became electronic, which is cool because it means I don’t have to lug around a huge pile of papers if I’m traveling. (At first I wasn’t so sure about this electronic copyedits thing. I was afraid I’d miss stuff. But emailing the file, rather than entrusting the manuscript to a courier service or the post office, is a lot faster and I’m not letting go of the only existing copy. I also get a few extra days, since I don’t have to wait for the mail.)

I do my copyedits in a few different passes. Like so:

Phase One: Look over all the changes and queries (those notes on the sides).

This lets me know how much work I’m in for, and it gives me time to think about my plan of attack. For THE ORPHAN QUEEN, my copyedits were actually pretty light, so this phase was extra fast.

Phase Two: Accept or stet changes, and address queries.

This part takes a little longer because, while simply accepting or stetting changes is not hard, sometimes I have to rewrite a sentence for clarity, or add/delete something. And because I’m me, I make all the changes in my Scrivener file, too, so I can have the most updated copy even after I send the copyedits back.

Phase Three: Reread the entire manuscript with the changes.

While there are several very smart people proofreading this thing before it gets back to me (copyeditor, proofreader, my editor), ultimately it’s my name on the cover, which means I need to be sure the final manuscript is as clean as possible. So I read the entire thing again to make sure that a) I’m happy with the changes, and b) everything reads smoothly.

For THE ORPHAN QUEEN, I’m going to make a few more minor changes throughout as I read through in Phase Three. Since I’ll be reading on a PDF on my iPad, marking changes as I would on paper, I’ll have to go through and add those to both the copyedited manuscript and my Scrivener file. And then, if I have time, I’ll read through one final time.

A lot of work? Absolutely. But since I want to publish only the best book I possibly can — it’s totally worth it. And as I said, copyedits are something I really enjoy.

(Sometimes I have imaginary conversation with my copyeditor about hyphens and commas.)

Originally published at Jodi Meadows. You can comment here or there.

Skip A Starbucks Day


Happy news! My dear friend (and amazing author) CJ Redwine is in the process of adopting her second daughter from China. CJ is one of the most loving, biggest-hearted people I know, and I couldn’t be happier for her.

The process for adopting Isabella is moving much faster than CJ and her family anticipated, so they’re having a fundraiser to help get the money to a) pay the adoption fee, and b) travel to China to get her.

Skip a Starbucks Day is easy. Instead of grabbing your daily $5 coffee (or whatever luxury), hop over to CJ’s blog and hit the donate button. Everyone who donates $5 will go into a drawing for a bunch of great prizes (I’ve added handknit mitts to the pot). Everyone who donates $10 or more gets their name on the back of a puzzle piece of one of Isabella’s photos, and CJ will put it into a two-sided frame so Isabella can see how many people cared enough to bring her home.

And that’s all! It’s super easy. And definitely worth a few bucks to help this sweet girl get home to her family.


Originally published at Jodi Meadows. You can comment here or there.

Author of INCARNATE (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins)

My novels are represented by Lauren MacLeod of the The Strothman Agency.


Jodi Meadows

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