In the past weeks I have shared some excerpts with you, as well as snippets from the foreword. This week I am not sharing anything at all that’s in the book. I do, however, want to tell you how things are progressing. This is a new and exciting process for me and maybe by sharing my experiences, you will know what to expect if ever you want to get a book published. I think all publisher have their own way of doing things, but there will be things that are more or less the same.
In October 2015 I sent a sample of my book to the publisher and estimated that I would hear back from them at the end of November, whether they would want to publish it. It took up to half December before I got a reply from them, which by now you all know was a YES! By then I had started to do some editing, but I wasn’t even halfway through the first editing round. A week later I received the contract from them and it was only then that I realized that it was serious. I was really going to be published!
Busy, busy, busy weeks followed. The first thing I did was to ask a dear English friend if she would be willing to read my book. I was delighted when she said yes. I completed the first editing round and sent the book off to her, while I started on the second editing round. I had no idea how many times I would edit the book. I told myself I would know when it’s done. In the end I edited the book eight time:
- Edit 1: Read the book from front to back and corrected errors or re-structured sentences.
- Beta read 1: sent the book off to my first beta reader (I planned for her to be the only one, but read a post of another writer and editor who recommended you should have at least two, but preferably three beta readers).
- Edit 2: I used the Pro Writing Aid Editing Tool to edit. This program is ace to highlight many irritating things in your book, such as overused words or not using UK or US spelling consistently.
- Edit 3: Applied the suggested changes of beta reader 1.
- Edit 4: Restructured the book and then used Pro Writing Aid again.
- Edit 5: Another editing round with Pro Writing Aid.
- Edit 6: Read the book from front to back again and found more errors and restructured more sentences.
- Beta read 2+3: I sent the book off to two more beta readers, halfway through editing round 6.
- Edit 7: Applied the suggested changes of beta reader 2 and 3.
- Edit 8: Another editing round with Pro Writing Aid.
I wanted to go on to a ninth editing round but for the first time when starting a new editing round, I had no idea what to focus on. That was the moment when I realized that the book was done. That it was time to send it to the publisher. It’s been almost two months since I have signed the contract and in the meantime my book had been announced in the spring catalogue of the publisher. It was time to move onto the next step, no matter how scary it seemed.
Today, a week ago, I sent my manuscript to the publisher. I immediately got an email back: thank you and you will have the first proof within two weeks. That means by the beginning of next week I will have mail from the publisher. When I do, the following has to happen:
- read the book once more to see if I spot anything else I am not entirely happy with;
- check the chapter heads, whether they are the way I want it;
- tell the artist how thick the book will be so he can complete the cover design;
- decide on a publishing date;
- finally send the manuscript back and then wait to get it back for the second and final proof.
As you can see, a lot still has to happen, but I think somewhere in March 2016 my book will be available in online and physical bookstores worldwide! Exciting and scary at the same time!
~ Marie Rebelle