Saturday, 23 February 2013

The publishing process

I freely admit to anyone who looks remotely interested, that I have no idea what I am doing. In preparing my book for publication, that is. My editor, kindly and helpfully sent me my manuscript back with some suggestions and a few little typos/odd words I might like to consider. I worked tirelessly to rewrite most of the book, moved chapters around, wrote new scenes...apparently, that wasn't really needed. It was mostly OK. I also sent the book back shiny and tidy - also not quite what they were expecting. Apparently, I should have left 'track changes' on, to make it easier for them to see what I was up to and where I had made changes. You live and learn. He asked how I write and for the life of me, I couldn't explain it. Although, through the blog, I can look back and see that I follow exactly the same path each time.

I suspect this first book will be a steep learning curve, but I'm also learning something else. I was expecting a boss/employee relationship but it isn't really like that. They have more faith in my ability to write than I do. There are other people who all want to help, unlike the MA where people show you where you could do better.

The search for an agent and then a publisher is so hard, so long and agonising that I wasn't really ready to succeed. There are so many more books and articles on selling yourself and your work, and very few on what happens next. I'm working my way to getting more confident with the process, and ready for the next step. Meanwhile, I have officially delivered book 1. Hooray!

Now it goes off to a copy editor, who will see it with fresh eyes, and pick up all the sillies (I hope). Then it's back to me for the next stage. Wow. Meanwhile, the arguments about the cover and the lettering go on, but I'm happy with it. It's all good. I have faith in them, they are all trying to make my book look better and sell better when it comes out in October.

17 comments:

  1. The first time someone mentioned 'track changes' to be too I had the same confused expression. In fact I had to Google it to find out what it was! Having used it though I can see it makes sense! Sounds like a busy but exciting time ahead for you :)

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne, I just wanted to send in the most polished version I could, it seemed odd sending in one covered with corrections! It's a steep learning curve. Thank goodness for Google!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your experience. Tracking changes is a good idea. I tend to make a copy every morning I write before I make any changes so I can at least roll back to the previous day if necessary. Best of luck to you.

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    1. Hi Tonya, I'm starting to find uses for track changes now I kind of understand it. I email myself a copy of each day's work, so if my computer dies at least it's up there somewhere. Thank you for your comment!

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  3. That's interesting, thank you, I'm a little behind you in the process, as I've done first edits and I'm waiting for that to come back from my editor. There may or may not be further edits, then I think it will go to a copy editor. I'll remember the track changes thing ... never done that.

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    1. Hi Louise, it sounds like you're catching me up! The rounds of edits I found a great learning experience, easier than I thought, but I think I could go on tweaking the MS forever. My editor sent me a version with the eidts he suggested, and he wanted me to leave them in place, just tell him what I wanted to do with them, whereas I wanted to clear them all up, tidy, edit, add bits... Good luck with the book, I'm looking forward to it!

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  4. Oh yikes - I didn't leave track changes on when I sent mine back! Hope they don't mind! :-)

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    1. Hi Kate, he didn't mind exactly, he did say they could work with what I gave him anyway! But each editor has his/her own way of working, I'm guessing, and maybe this first book is a learning thing for both parties. I'm sure they don't mind.

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  5. New follower here...I myself am not a big "track changes" person when I edit my own work- it makes my MS look so un-pretty! But it's certainly useful when my CPs track their edits on my MS so I know which areas I need to focus on cleaning up.

    I think it's wonderful that you're learning so much about the publishing process through your first book. I'd like to get there someday!

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    1. Hi Cynthia, I don't track changes either, I like to see the book looking more and more like a proper book! But when my editor sends it back, I'm going to have to remember to let it get scrappier and scrappier. And every good wish on that plan to get published, persistence seems to be key!

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  6. It sounds like a fun ride to be on, congrats! Your attitude is so optimistic and positive, I'm sure things will go your way :)

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    1. It's been a great time, and every step is new. People have been very helpful, though, and I've had loads of encouragement! If youy haven't been published by a commercial publisher (yet) the Mslexia competition is open to all women writers around the world, who write in English, just a thought...

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  7. I agree with Georgina.

    Great to see you in Mslexia! Just had a quick look through the new issue and saw their little piece about your book deal.

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    1. Competition coming around again, just a thought...and judged by my agent! So excited to even have my name in Mslexia, such a lovely magazine.

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  8. I saw you in Mslexia too :) I entered the novel comp but was not long-listed, now have a deal for same novel (although it has undergone something of a face lift since I entered the comp).

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    1. Congratulations Louise, it's a great feeling, isn't it? Fantastic news.

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    2. And looking forward to Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase next year!

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