Today my school had a forum featuring Stacy Whitman, an editor at Tu Books, an imprint of Lee and Low. I thought that this would be a great chance to see what happens once the book is written and revised, to look into the editor's point of view on things.
One thing that astounded me was Ms. Whitman showed a slide featuring a series of pages from a book she had edited a few years ago after it had been edited. Blue highlights showed revisions, red highlights showed deletions, and green highlights were for formatting. Some pages were completely blue or completely red. Other pages had a mix of blue and red, but very little (I'm talking maybe a paragraph among twenty pages) were left of what had been originally written. Now, I'm hoping she pulled out some of the most dramatic pages to show us how much work editing can be, but even still, that's a lot of revisions!
Along with the massive amounts of revisions, I also got to see what process a book goes through once in the hands of an editor. Finally, there was a Q&A session at the end, and we discussed ebooks (of course), salaries of editors, graduate schools, and well, lots of random things about books and publishing.