Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What I've Learned Since Publication

Now that would fill a book. With the help of a good editor, my writing is improving, and that is a great feeling, but I never realized the work that went on behind the scenes of a book on the part of the author. Proposals were written, contracts offered, contract signed, deadline set and manuscript finished. That was it.

Then it actually happened, and all the things I’d heard others talk about with no idea what they meant came to pass. All the steps previously mentioned took place and I breathed a sigh of relief. Then my manuscript went to the first editor who read for content, continuity, and clarity. The manuscript came back with comments that lead to revisions and rewriting portions of a manuscript I loved just as it was. Then I see how much better it can be, so rewriting and revision passes back and forth.

Finally the manuscript is submitted to the copy editor who now checks for GUM. Not the kind you chew, but the grammar, usage, and mechanics of the story. This can go either way with a long list of questions and corrections or with a few brief comments and questions about certain areas.

Whew. I’m finished. Not so fast. Now the galley proof comes, and it must be read word by word. No skimming here because I know the story. Yikes, where did all those corrections and changes I have to make come from?

When that feat is accomplished, I breathe another sigh of relief and sit back to wait for the books to arrive. Then I hear about marketing and promotion. What! I have to get out and promote that book so people will buy it so I can earn back the advance? Well, they know me, so they’ll buy it. Hmm, I don’t have that many friends in the world.

So now it’s the task of seeking out blogs for guest spots, setting up tweets and spots on Facebook, and all that other social media. I pass out bookmarks and mail postcards, visit bookstores to ask about book signings, write guest blogs as well as my own and offer free books, and seek out speaking opportunities where I can pitch my books and sell them.

Egads! I have another deadline to meet. How do I find time to promote and write? I’m still trying to find the answers to that little question. I have to get organized and get all my ducks in a row. It’s finally beginning to sink in, so maybe I’m going to make it in this world of writing and publishing after all.

How do you balance your time and take care of all the business that comes with writing? 

I'm giving away a copy of Love Stays True, my latest release, to some lucky reader who comments and answers the question. 


Melanie Backus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melanie Backus said...

I just want to say that I am in awe of writers. Your talent, skill and determination blows me away. I am a writer wannabe but I don't think I have all it takes to get the complete job done. I admire and respect all of you. Thank you for what you do.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Debby Mayne said...

Being a writer sure does require a lot of juggling. That's why I have so many lists and even more lists to check my lists.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Melanie, we all started just where you are. It helps to be a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, where we can connect with other writers, learn the skills of writing, and get all kinds of help.

Susan P said...

I agree with Melanie, I am in awe of writers. I have voices talking to me in my head (I'm sure characters that are perfect for stories) but I know I have no talent for putting it on paper. :) I will just feed starving authors instead.
lattebooks at hotmail dot com

Darrel Nelson said...

Excellent account of all of our journeys to and through publication, Martha. It takes so many hands to pass our manuscript along, doesn't it?