Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Writers Journey Continued

Hi Writerly Friends,

A little more this week in my Wednesday (oops, is it Thursday already?) series on my author journey. As I mentioned last week in my blog on promotion, the big promo beast is what eats up most of a writer's time.

I've been trying to get back to my woman's humor book in the works (working title: Chocolate for the Soul; My Soul Has Had Enough Chicken Soup, Thank You) but instead I find my attention snagged by the pile of promotional correspondence on my desk.

I received the excellent news this week that my December release, Billowing Sails, has been shipped and should arrive on 12/15/08 as promised. Praise God! (And I really mean that from the bottom of my heart - timely delivery was definitely a grace notes miracle with all the obstacles God had to overcome to get it here in time for Christmas).

So I shot an e-mail to the 100 or so local recipients of my e-newsletter (to sign up, and I truly hope you do, please visit a Christmas special including hand delivery of a signed copy for $4 off the retail price. To my surprise, I was inundated with responses and am now organizing a delivery schedule (no small task for organizationally challenged me)for the week before Christmas.

On top of that, I received the first round of final edits from the publisher of Mom Needs Chocolate (slated for release 3/09 by Regal) with a due date of 12/29/09. ARRGGHH! Don't these people realize it's Christmas? Cookies to bake, gifts to wrap, carols to sing, book to deliver...

Christmas or not, I must now work through the entire e-manuscript and address the editor's notes and suggestions (e.g. "Flesh out this paragraph a bit more" or "Can you come up with another anecdote to make this point?". After making my alterations (you don't have to take ALL the editor's suggestions, but it's wise to pick your battles and follow their wise and more experienced judgment unless it's something you feel VERY strongly about)I return the manuscript (now in book form) and wait a few weeks for her to return it back to me for round two.

It's like an electronic ping pong game but instead of a ball we use a book.

There may be as many as four rounds of edits depending on the publisher. This is my first book with Regal, so I don't really know what to expect. My previous books have had 2-3 final editing rounds. At long last, you receive the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) or galley, which is a mock-up of the finalized product before it goes to the printer. This is the copy that is often sent to reviewers for the endorsements (also called blurbs) that you see on back covers or inside front covers.

Having been forewarned that my original 240-page manuscript would have to be shortened to 200 pages (it will be a hard cover book), I was pleased to see in the final book form that none of my chapters had been omitted, but the formatting was revised to combine some of the funny quotes and scripture to keep the entire manuscript intact.

Hooray for clever editors!

Must go now. Lots of editing to do and miles to go before I sleep! Stay tuned for more on my writer's journey next Wednesday.

God bless, Deb C.