I can’t believe that an entire season has passed since I jumped up and down in my kitchen one Wednesday night in June, immensely giddy with excitement about securing a publishing deal. It was quite a magical day/night and I’m sure it will live long in the memory.
But … what next? What exactly does happen after the initial euphoria of signing a book deal has passed? I’d often wondered, and now I know!
Well, first there’s plenty of form filling: author bios, descriptions of the novels, social media details, information for marketing and promotion - necessary details which really made me think about my novels again – and in a much more businesslike manner. Having guessed and floundered my way through the publishing process on my own so far, it was so lovely to have my publisher asking me to provide them with these details. Small things. Big difference.
Then there’s the contract. Wowzers. Lots and lots of pages of very, very detailed information which – I found – was best considered while sipping a G&T in the sunshine. Seeing everything in writing, signing my name, posting it back to New York – each part of the process was another marker of reality – a reminder that this is really happening.
Next, for me, came discussions about the book covers. This, I loved (and came much sooner than I’d expected). I’ve been able to send on ideas and images to add into the mix and am being kept fully involved in the process. Again, having navigated the creative cover process on my own, it’s very exciting to know that people are having meetings and discussions about this. I can’t wait to see what the art department comes back with.
Next came the line edits for THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME, in a marked up copy of my manuscript, which looks like this when printed out:
Seeing my editor’s annotations, marks and comments on my pages is what I had always longed for. Like some terrifying hybrid of Hermione Grainger and Monica Geller, I locked myself away, devoured my ‘homework’ and thoroughly enjoyed the whole editing process – even when I had to look up what some of the editing symbols mean, which is a bit like studying hieroglyphics.
These edits are now back with my editor, who is due to send me her line edits for DAUGHTERS OF THE FLOWERS very soon. Hermonica is ready and waiting ….
In the meantime, I have had the less exciting issue of tax forms to fill out and the whole aspect of international/domestic tax to deal with (again, best faced with a G&T in hand), but I’m not going to complain about that, because it’s all just part of the process. Best just to suck it up, make lots of phone calls and get on with it.
What else? Well, THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME has been ‘retired’ in her current format, a process which was, thankfully, pretty straightforward. I’m in the process of rearranging my office/desk in the vague hope that it will make me more organised and I’m busy working on Book Three – which I am very excited about, although I’m not entirely convinced my cat shares my enthusiasm.
Busy times. Happy days. Onwards, with my lucky horseshoe keeping watch …..