I’ve been waiting to write this post until I made it through all the stages of production. When last I wrote, I talked about the "dreaded editorial letter" and making revisions. This process lasted several months, with three or four iterations back and forth with my editor.
Each time, the changes became fewer and fewer, and each time, my editor read the book from cover to cover! I must admit that I was getting sick of my own story by the end, so I was so impressed by her dedication and thoroughness.
After revisions, it went to the copy editor. This stage looked for smaller edits—grammar, spelling, inconsistencies, etc.
In the meantime, I had to approve the back cover copy, write my dedication and acknowledgements (which can take some time, because you don’t want to forget anyone!), and finalize the title. The title took a long time to settle on. You want something that’s original, reflects your book, and makes people want to pick up your book. That’s a lot of pressure on a few short words.
Next, I received the cover design. The cover was based on some basic ideas I had, but it still looked very different from what I had in my head. So when I first saw it, I was a little disoriented, but it didn’t take long for it to grow on me. Now, I love it and can’t imagine anything else!
Many weeks later, I received the galley copy of The Secret to Letting Go for proofreading. This was the last chance to catch any typos and formatting issues. For instance, somehow the dog’s water bowl was still written as a “water bowel” (seriously!) and no one had caught it up to this point. Thankfully, the editor caught it and pointed it out. That would have been a little embarrassing. During this stage, I was also able to see something that looked like a book – so exciting!
At the same time all this was going on, I was talking to my publisher and agent about marketing and promotion, which could be a whole separate post on its own! So much to consider and for me to work on. For my non-writer friends, it used to be that publishers handled all of this for their authors, but today, the expectation is very much that authors take some ownership of book promotion, working in partnership with the publisher. I’ve had a steep learning curve in this respect, especially as the world of social media and marketing moves and changes quickly. Fortunately, I am part of a very supportive community of writers, who are always willing to give advice and share experiences:)
One of the reasons I wanted to write this post is because I know that for my non-writing friends, its seems like a long time has passed between the offer to publish and release date (eleven months). Many friends have asked how my book is coming along, and I explain that I’ve actually done very little “work” on my book since August when I finished revisions. Most of my day to day time is spent writing and revising other books that I am currently working on.
So now you all know what’s been happening behind the scenes:) I am planning to do one more post in this series to talk about what happens after my book releases!