Beautiful Addictions, Novel, Publishing

What I’ve learned about publishing so far…

Summer rolled in, and with it came scathing temperatures and almost daily thunderstorms. For me, it also brought a few lessons about the publishing and writing process.

Soon... ish.Soon. The word soon in publishing generally means three to four months. In an industry where it takes a year for a manuscript to become a novel on bookstore shelves, I suppose this makes sense. Though it doesn’t make it any easier to stomach when you’re experiencing soon for the very first time.

Rough Draft. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve written a rough draft, so imagine my surprise when I finished the first version of Book Two only to find that it was terrible. After a mini freak out, a Route 44 Diet Coke from Sonic and a bag of pretzel M & M’s, I was able to talk myself off the theoretical ledge. Of course the rough draft sucks. Of course it doesn’t compare to the finished manuscript I just finished editing. I put my heart and soul into that rough draft, but the rest of the recipe has not been added. Blood, sweat, tears, battle wounds and a sacrifice of personal hygiene must all be applied to that rough draft before it can grow into something I’m proud of.

cat beardDistractions. I write a sentence and then think, “Is that realistic? I should research that.” Then I proceed to my favorite search engine where I ask a simple question and get 600,000 simple answers. This leads to that, leads to something else and before I know it, I’ve been looking at cat bearding photos for an hour. I’ve learned of software that helps with cutting out distractions, but since I have zero self-control when it comes to this, I find turning off my modem and hiding my phone works just as well.

Twitter. As far as writers go, Twitter is the motherland. It is so easy to post follow me, buy this, read that, enter this contest, or check out my review in less than 140 characters. There are authors who strictly post self-promotional things. These get a bit boring and I find myself skimming over them. It garners an “I only want to talk about me” vibe that is off-putting. Other authors do well by mixing their “buy my book” posts with links to helpful articles or fun facts about reading and writing. These are my favorite. Lastly, there is the author that doesn’t need or doesn’t care for book promotion. They want to use their thousands of followers as a collective BFF to share things in their personal lives, photos of their new puppy or even political rants. I can’t say I blame them, because when’s the last time you had over 10,000 people in one place who actually want to hear what you have to say?

Overall, it’s been a fun three months since landing my book deal. I’ve learned so much about the process and have so much still to learn. I look forward to the journey and I’m glad that you guys are coming along with me. Write on!

Beautiful Addictions, Novel

Delivered and Accepted

It was silly of me to fear revisions. With a detailed list of changes, additions and subtractions, it almost felt like one of those dreaded word problems on the SAT’s. If Character A leaves at 4 p.m. on a train headed toward New Orleans and Character B drives his 1967 Impala to the 7-11 for some cigarettes and a frozen burrito, how many freckles does Zac Efron have? As it turns out, making the changes were very easy. Most of the edits fell in place naturally and made the story tighter (industry term for deleting unnecessary bits). I finished the changes in just a few days, read over the manuscript one last time and sent it back to Rose (my editor @ St. Martin’s Press).

She was thrilled with the changes and said, “Consider Beautiful Addictions delivered and accepted.” Well, that sounds all official, doesn’t it? Basically, this means that I’m done with the text of this book except for the copy edits–grammar, punctuation, spelling. I can’t wait to be shown the error of my grammatical ways.

Everything is happening so quickly, I feel like I’m on the fast track to publishing. So what now? I sit on my couch watching reruns of Supernatural and wait until next Spring when the book will be released? Of course not. There’s another book to write, people!

Good news! I finished the first draft of Book 2 (which is still untitled). I didn’t like the end. So I rewrote that and now, I’m much happier. Still a long way from the finish line, but I feel like I’m right on target with my time goals. Here’s a sneak peek at the setting for Book 2:

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Yeah, that’s all you get for now. I might be a tease, but I’m not easy…

Beautiful Addictions, Novel

Moving right along…

My editor, Rose, shoots me an email saying the edited manuscript is in the mail.

book-editing

Eek! She also forwarded me her editorial letter summarizing changes so that I can “simmer on it”. This is a great phrase. While I’ve prepared myself for this (and by prepared, I mean I repeatedly chanted “be open to change, the editor knows best, fight for what you believe in”), it’s going to hurt like hell.

When you write a story, you pour yourself into it. So not only do those characters become part of you, you become part of them. Whether you express it through prose or personality traits of your main character, every author reveals themselves through their writing. When someone comes in to critique that, it’s hard to handle.

Reading through the editorial letter, I can say that it’s not going to be easy to address all the issues. But nothing great is ever easy, right? I agree with all the changes, even if it took a couple of paragraphs of explanation to sway me. I agree that they will make the story more streamlined, better. I agree that Rose knows best.

I’m lucky to have an editor that is passionate about this story. Us, working as a tag team, will make it the best it can be. Then, it’s all up to the readers. Write on.