A few people have been asking what’s been going on in the world of Josh, so I thought I’d give you a quick overview of all the steps on the road to publishing a fiction book. Other publishers might do things slightly differently, but here’s how it happened for me.
1. Signed the contract!
Wahoo! This is the first and most exciting step for a first time author. It means someone else out there believes in your story, despite the fact that it might be in fairly rough shape at this point.
2. Substantive edit/revisions
The manuscript goes to an editor, who reads it carefully and comes up with a list of issues and questions that need to be addressed. In my case, the fabulous Barbara Pulling was my editor. Barbara sent me a Word document with all her thoughts and then gave me some time to read it through and think about it, and then we had a chat via Skype.
I loved every one of Barbara’s suggestions, so it was just a matter of coming up with a plan for how to tackle each one. I started with the things I could fix quickly, to give myself some courage for the more difficult and bigger changes, and as time went on, I crossed things off my list and moved onto the next suggestion, until I’d worked through all of them.
Once I’d finished, I crossed my fingers and sent the revised manuscript back to her. And she liked it! Another Wahoo moment!
Next, Barbara went through the manuscript with a fine-tooth comb, marking up the Word document with smaller changes. We went back and forth on these a couple of times, and then when she deemed it ready, it was onto the next step.
After the revisions, it was time for the copyediting. This is when a copy editor (Dawn) looks at every sentence and every word, to make sure it all makes sense and is clear and that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Since I’d written the manuscript in American English (I generally use American English in my day job as a technical writer), Dawn fixed all my spelling to make it Canadian English, as well as fixing some of my odd phrasing, and a few Kiwi-isms I’d managed to slip in (apparently in Canada we call the lounge a living room). After a few emails back and forth, it was onto the next step.
4. Book design/page layout
Next it was onto the book design and layout. Frances did a fabulous job making the cover (isn’t it cool!!) and laying out all the internal pages. When I saw the design earlier this week, I spent the rest of the day with a great big grin on my face. Nice fonts and a super clean style. As a technical writer, I’ve done a bit of design and page layout for technical manuals, so this is something I really appreciate!
Next the manuscript was sent to Audrey for proofreading, to make sure there were no spelling mistakes or typos, and to check once again for any Kiwi-isms. Audrey also picked up on a few descriptions that weren’t quite clear.
Today PROVE IT, JOSH went to the printers! (Yes, that’s a glass of bubbly in my hand!) So it won’t be long now before I can actually hold a copy of the book. I can’t wait!
7. Book launch!
And finally, once the books are printed, it’ll be time for the book launch. We’ve already started planning the launch, but I’ll tell you about that another day.
So there you have it! That’s what’s been keeping me busy. As you can see, it’s quite a long and involved process, and takes the skill of many people, including publisher Diane Morriss at the helm, to pull it off.
If you want to pre-order a copy, especially if you’re outside North America, you can phone Sono Nis Press – 1-250-226-0077 or email books[at]sononis.com.
Or, of course, you can order it through your local independent bookseller (hat tip to Maggie for reminding me!)