Friday, July 14, 2006

After The Sale

The line edits for Bound By Marriage just landed on my desk, and timing wise it's great since I've done the bulk of my cleaning/packing already. I'm looking forward to having a read of this manuscript again.

Getting this package yesterday made me think about the fact that pre-publication, most writers focus on just writing the book (as they should). But there are a heap of things that come after and demand your time. So in the interests of writerly solidarity, I'm going to put down some of them. These things will vary according to your publishing house, editor and whether you write category or single title fiction, but the basic steps will tend to be the same.

Manuscript

1. Revisions (a step that may be skipped)

2. Line/Copy Edits - The line editor (who's usually your editor) goes through the manuscript line by line and makes their changes. The copy editor checks the technical stuff (commas, grammar, repetitions etc). Your job is to go through that marked-up ms and agree/disagree to the changes, and make any last minute changes you have of your own. I once added an entire page at this stage to fix something.

3. Galleys - This is the last time you'll see your manuscript before it goes to print. You don't have the chance to make huge changes here, which is why the line edit stage is so important. Instead you focus on picking up typos, spelling mistakes, typesetting errors.

Non-Manuscript Things

1. Bio - you have to come up with some sort of blurb about yourself. I have a lot of trouble with this, which is why my website one is split up into sections. Makes it easier.

2. Author Photo

3. Conversations about cover art or completion of a cover-art form if you write for Harlequin (very detailed).

4. Talking about the back-cover copy (single title).

5. Promotion. Even if you're allergic to promo, you will have to at least come up with a website (which I personally think is so, so important in today's world).

Those are just a few of the things that come after publication and which new authors should be thinking about when they set themselves deadlines. I love every aspect of being a writer, but without adequate planning, you could stress yourself out.

Any questions? Any additions?

4 comments :

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Thanks for pointing out all the stuff that writers have to think of once the book is sold. For those of us still trying to get there, we often don't consider what comes next after the sale. It's good to be reminded. :) Forewarned is forearmed, right? :)

Yvonne Lindsay said...

Forewarned is definitely a good idea, especially when you're planning your year ahead writing wise. It's all very well to know you can write the books your editor clamours to buy (at least we hope we do) but it pays to know in advance that you need to set aside business time for the *after writing* things as well, especially if you're still balancing a day job and family demands around your writing time.

Yvonne Lindsay said...

BTW, had to giggle at your *this step can be missed* with regard to revisions, Nalini!

Nalini Singh said...

Hey Lynn! How's the thesis going?

Yvonne - they can, I promise! It happens rarely but when it does you feel like you've gotten an early Xmas present.