|One First that wasn't stressful - My first Advance check!|
And, you know me, I always have a comment. About everything. I'm sure there has been times when my editor wished she had never signed me.
Regardless, I'm trying to treasure and appreciate every step as it comes because I know I will never have another first book. It's kind of like parenting: you love all your kids, but everything is unique, new, terrifying and unexpected with the first one.
This week, I received my first ever set of Copy Edits. Basically, a copy editor and my main editor had gone through and marked up my manuscript -- everything from formatting to grammar/spelling, to overall consistency issues, to just better ways of writing a particular sentence. It was pretty brutal -- like being back in college. If their comments had just been in red ink, it would've bled just like a Freshman English paper all over again.
Here's a sample:
|My Copy Edits|
This is a reasonably mild page in term of comments, some had many more. Of my 220-page book, there were only about 10 pages that didn't have some sort of correction.
Anything that was undeniably wrong -- the blue words in the text itself above -- was just automatically changed for me, I had no say in that. But anything that required an opinion, something that could go either way, I had to approve. That's where the blue and red boxes came in. For the record, I agreed with probably 95% of their suggested changes.
So after the initial shock and embarrassment of "OMG, how did I miss so many errors?" wore off, and the perfectionist in me who doesn't like any red marks on her paper, was stuffed and gagged, it really wasn't too bad. I made what changes I needed to and I was able to get it back to my editor within a couple of days.
|My Author Alteration file|
And darn if that doesn't look just like a book. Like a real, live book. That people will hopefully buy and read come April 2014.
So here's my "Road to Publication" Timeline so far:
May 2012 - Sent a back cover blurb & 100-word snippet to Intrigue team as part of a contest; Editor requested first three chapters and full synopsis
June 2012 - Sent requested chapters and synopsis
October 2012 - Received (amidst the 2012 "So You Think You Can Write" Contest Madness - I'm still embarrassed to think about it) request for full manuscript from editor (read about that request here)
December 2012 - Sent full manuscript to editor
June 18, 2013 - Received "The Call" from Harlequin -- they wanted to buy and publish my book in April 2014
Mid-July 2013 - Asked to submit the "Art Fact Sheet" for my manuscript. A list of a billion questions (about characters, locales, seasons, etc.) from which they will develop the cover of my book. So if my hero looks like Fabio, I only have myself to blame.
August 1, 2013 - After much discussion back and forth, I was notified that the title of my Harlequin Intrigue book would be Primal Instinct (read about that here)
Sept 10, 2013 - Received copy edits; made changes and returned on 9/12/13
Sept 12, 2013 - Received AA (author alteration) file; due mid-October.
There's other stuff I know I still have to do before next April when the book comes out, and I'm looking forward to that too. It's all a little bit scary, but a whole lot of awesome.