Sunday, September 12, 2010

What happens after THE CALL?

When I was first starting out looking into the publishing industry, one of the things that I was most curious about was the process. If I ever received that fabled "call," I wanted to know what to expect, what was going to happen next.

I don't like surprises. (Ask my family. I routinely open Christmas gifts in October and use nefarious means to figure out what everyone else is getting me. I can't stand the unknown. And I like shoot me).

So I'm going to share all my experiences, the good, the bad, and the ugly so that other aspiring writers out there can have a little bit of insight for their own journeys. [Although I have to add that no one's experiences are the same. Publishing houses and their processes vary widely.]

So what happens after the call?

Later that afternoon, I called my editor back (if you'll recall, I could barely breathe much less hold a rational conversation at the time of the actual call). We discussed the terms of the purchase--how much the advance would be and the fact that I would receive half upon signing the contract and half once my requested edits were through.

A couple of hours later, I got an email outlining what changes my editor wanted to the manuscript. Earlier on the phone, she'd asked how long it would take me to complete. Wanting to be both easy to work with and impressive, I said I could have them done in a week. She laughed and said that wasn't necessary. Instead, she gave me a month (and considering the fact that I had over 5,000 words that needed to be cut from the manuscript, it was a good thing she didn't take me up on my idiotic offer).

So I got to work.

During this time, I also corresponded back and forth on what the final title was going to be. My editor and the senior editor from the line had come up with one and wanted me to suggest a few different ones. I did, but mine all stank. I'm not a title-person. So we went with the editors' suggestion.

I also had to do an Art Facts File. That was pretty fun. I surfed the internet, looking for pictures of good looking men to represent my hero, found a picture of a pretty girl to be the heroine, and "ooh"ed and "aww"ed over beautiful estates in England. I compiled all these pictures into a document and then made suggestions for "scenes" that could be depicted on the cover of the book. That, along with my author bio (to be used for purposes of drawing up the contract) had to be turned in fairly quickly. I think it took me 2 days.

Okay, I've bored everyone enough for one post. I'm hoping some find it interesting and helpful to their own lives.

I'll try to be funnier and generally much more entertaining in my next post.

Although, I can't make any promises.

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