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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Becoming a Book

French edition of Just Desserts~
April 2013

I received  the revision notes from my editor late last week. She had excellent suggestions for the areas that needed work and actually liked one part that I thought needed tweaked.  I love a second pair of eyes. Now I have until the end of May to get this book into its almost final form.

In case you've wondered about the process that goes into shaping a book from start to finish, here it is:

1) I write the synopsis of a story that’s bouncing around in my head, along with three sample chapters, and submit them to my editor. If she likes the project, she sends it on to the senior editor and if she likes it, then I get a contact. I set the due date for the first draft. I always think I’ve factored in tons of extra time, but invariably something happens (hot water tank explodes or something of that nature) or I get hung up on one part of the book and write it and rewrite it and rewrite it, instead of moving on, and the deadline comes barreling up on me. I somehow get done.

2) My editor reads the book and then sends me notes about what revisions she thinks are necessary to strengthen the story. I’ve been through this process enough that I usually know the weak areas and work on them while I wait for my editor’s notes. Sometimes, though, something comes out of left field, such as “this character isn’t working”. This happened to my hero named Rex. My advice—don’t name a hero Rex unless he’s a dog. I renamed Rex and the new character acted differently and worked much better. Names matter.

3) I revise over the course of several weeks and send in the revisions. The editor then does a line edit,
Once a Champion hits the shelves
in June.
where she reads and edits the manuscript line by line. My manuscripts are 85K or around 375 pages, so she has some reading ahead of her. Then she sends the line edits to me and I go over the manuscript line by line reviewing the changes. I send my changes back to her.

4) Finally, I get a PDF of the book in its semi-final form to proof read. This is my last chance to change anything. After that, the book goes into production. Six months later it’s on the shelves.

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