As my camera is dead, I can't make like Natalie Whipple and show you a photo of the editorial letter that just arrived by UPS. (The guy drove right past my house and had to come back. I knew he would!) Instead, you'll have to settle for a description.
First, if you're like me, you may have assumed that an editorial letter was a letter. (Crazy, right?) This letter, I assumed, would give suggestions on things to move, change, add, cut, etc. There actually is a 3 page letter like this in the envelope, so I wasn't completely off base, but the bulk (and I *mean* bulk) of this "letter" is something else entirely.
Do you remember sitting in high school English and getting back a four page term paper with red marks all over it showing you, in detail, everything you did wrong? Well, multiply that by 100 and you'll have an idea of what an editorial letter entails. It's the full manuscript, printed out, and marked up - by hand.
I'm beginning to understand why Natalie separated hers into folders so she could tackle a chunk at a time. Taken all at once, it's daunting and terrifying, and makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. But, it's also exciting. These are the trenches, where the book gets whipped into publishing shape so that it comes out all shiny and fit on the other side.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go find folders before I go crazy looking at this huge stack of paper.