Guest Post Against the Grain


I’m hosting a guest post today by Phil Williams, author of “Against the Grain”. Phil talks about the editing process today.

Guest Post: Editing Process

Each of my manuscripts are edited seven times. After the outline and first draft, I read my manuscript out loud to my wife, Denise. This allows me to catch awkward phrases and dialogue. Denise often chimes in with comments about characterization and grammar. I love to make her laugh, and I try not to be too deflated when she doesn’t. Her instant reactions give me invaluable feedback as to where I’m succeeding, and where I’m failing. Before I send it to my editors, I do one more read through on my own. My goal at this stage is to send them the best manuscript possible.

My editors: Fred Johnson, Carolyn Smailes, Gary Smailes, and Denise Barker of Bubblecow work their magic with a detailed structural edit. I receive feedback on pacing, plot, characterization, dialogue, descriptions, and a chapter by chapter summary. They do a fantastic job of pinpointing any problems, and offsetting that with positive feedback.

When Bubblecow returns my manuscript, it’s marked up with corrections and comments. I spend a few weeks fixing any problems, making corrections, and rewriting where necessary. I take my editor’s feedback seriously. I try to keep my ego in check, and follow their advice. After the initial edit and rewrites, I do another read aloud, and send it back to my editors for a proofread.

During the proofread, the manuscript is edited line-by-line for grammar, spelling, and sentence fluency. Again, I receive a marked-up manuscript that I have to read through and make corrections. At this point, I read through one final time, and the manuscript is ready for my formatter and cover artist. The entire process takes about five months.

Anyone with an internet connection can publish these days, giving all authors the opportunity to find an audience. I think it’s fair that readers decide the value of a book, not the publishers. A few years ago, indie publishing was synonymous with poor quality, but that’s changing. As a reader, I now have a tough time distinguishing between indie and traditionally published books. In my opinion, the main reason for the increase in quality is the help of an editor. With each novel or nonfiction book, I’m striving to improve as an author and a storyteller. A professional edit is crucial to the quality of my work and the development of my craft.

About the Book

Against the Grain E-CoverTitle: Against the Grain

Author: Phil Williams

Genre: Contemporary / Coming of Age / Political

A tyrannical high school principal.
A young anarchist with nothing left to lose.
One way or another, this place is goin’ down.

Matt Moyer is an orphaned teen growing up on a primitive farm in the Pennsylvania coal region. He’s homeschooled by his eccentric and philosophical great-uncle, who’s a stickler for logic, reason, and intellectual honesty. Despite his uncle’s reverence for veracity, inconsistencies arise regarding the old man’s shady past and the teen’s parents.

Through a harrowing sequence of events, Matt is forced to attend a public school. The feral teen finds it difficult to cope with the hypocrisy, propaganda, and misinformation that adults and children so readily accept. Faced with the possibility of expulsion, arrest, and ostracism, he must make a choice. Will he choose the easy lie or the hard truth?

Adult language and content.

Author Bio

Author Headshot CroppedPhil M. Williams is an author, activist, blogger, and consultant. He lives in Central Pennsylvania with his wife, Denise, where he writes and tends his permaculture farm. He is the author of Fire the Landscaper, Against the Grain, Stone Lake, and co-author of Farmer Phil’s Permaculture. His new releases can be read for free at









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