Some of you may know my novella, Even Demons Get The Blues, was picked up by Red Sage as a result of finalling in their Alpha Male novella contest. That was mid-June and ever since, I’ve been asked by friends who’re not ‘in the business’ when it’s coming out and when can they buy it and that sort of thing. They’re often horrified when I tell them it can take a year or so (from what I’ve heard!) for a manuscript to get to publication stage and that it’s a long, slow, process. So for those of you who for whatever reason are interested in the steps from contract to publication of a manuscript, I thought I’d take you through the process (as it has applied to me, anyway) and also let you know what stage my novella is at to date.
Feb 25th – emailed Even Demons Get The Blues, my first go at a novella (i.e. approx 30,000 words) to the Red Sage contest co-ordinator. Now it’s a waiting game – as per usual when you enter a writing comp.
May 15th – received notification the finalists would be announced on the Writerspace chat room that evening, and wouldn’t you know it, I couldn’t access the chat room!
May 16th – went onto the Red Sage blog page and found my name listed as one of the 4 finalists…. Ya-freaking-hoo!
Jun 17th – got THE EMAIL telling me they’d like to publish my novella, even though it hadn’t won the competition. They could even offer me a small advance. Was I interested? Are you kidding? You bet!
Jun 18th – my editor (yes, MY editor:-)) emailed me the the in-house style guide to read over and the CIF (cover information form), which had a whole heap of info to fill in. I had a week to write a synopsis, a blurb, decide on an excerpt from the novella which would be used as a teaser and get back to her with some ideas about likes and dislikes for the cover. Exciting stuff! Like that email can’t have been a hoax and they must really be serious about publishing it if they need all this from me, huh?
Jun 21st – emailed all the info back and the ‘re-styled’ manuscript, formatted and revised as per the style guide. Yeah, I got it done pretty quickly. What can I say? I was eager, LOL. And afterwards, played the waiting-and-checking-the-emails-on-a-daily-basis game again with regard to any revisions which might need to be done. In the meantime…
Jul 10th – received my contract in the mail and half of my advance. OMG, my first actual ‘income’ from writing…this is really happening! And once I returned the signed contract, I got my copy back and the second half of my advance – yay!
Jul 19th – got a lovely email from my editor telling me exactly what she liked about my writing. God! After form rejections where you have no clue whether they’re snowed, already have a writer of your genre on their books, or your writing just plain sucks, this sort of feedback is just amazing! Of course she also had some suggestions for revisions – not surprising since this is my first try at writing a novella and I’m used to penning much longer books. Nothing too major, thank goodness. I had a couple of weeks to do them because she was on holiday, so instead of diving right in, I mulled them over for a bit and then got to it. I happen to have agreed with everything she suggested – even if it did mean some of my much-loved scenes with my favorite secondary characters had to go! – so it was pretty straight-forward.
Aug 6th – had the revisions requested and as they were ready to go, sent them off.
Aug 30th – another suggestion from my editor about revamping the beginning to get more of a hook. Mmmm beginnings. My favorite thing in the entire world to write….not!
Sep 1st – this time I made the newbie’s mistake of jumping right in and immediately whizzing off an email with my take on a new beginning and the result was….
Sep 4th – I got an email from my editor saying the new beginning was okay but it now lacked a key moment. OMG, when she elaborated I just knew she was sooooo on the money with that. Could really see what the reader would be missing. We compared notes and once I had it ‘right’ in my head, I sent off another version of the beginning chapter.
Oct 1st – one more small revision requested – more of an in-house preference than anything major. No problem! Sent it off the same day. If everything was okay, this would be the ‘delivered manuscript’ as per my contract requirements. Running 2 weeks ahead of schedule so I was pretty stoked. And it was back to playing the waiting game.
Oct 21st – my contract deadline had passed and since I’m new at all this, I wanted to check everything was okay. Part of this nervousness was because I’d had a few significant emails sent to me disappear into cyberspace and I didn’t want to my editor to think I’d gone AWOL on her if my emails – or hers – had gone astray. So I bit the bullet and emailed her to check that I’d ‘delivered’ the goods i.e. the last lot of revisions were in effect ‘it’. And…
Oct 22nd – she’d already sent the ms to the copyeditor which in effect meant…she was totally happy with everything I’d done. Yippee!! Soon I’ll get a copy of the ms back from the copyeditor and I’ll have a chance to read it over and make a few minor changes if necessary.
And that’s where Even Demons Get The Blues is currently at. I’ll keep you posted!
Here’s my October reading list:
-The Viscount by Lyn Stone
-Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione
-Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon
-Creating Popular Fiction by Jennifer Bacia
-Ruby Parker Hits the Small Time by Rowan Coleman
-Girl, Nearly 16: Absolute Torture by Sue Limb
-Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
-To Distraction by Stephanie Laurens
-Beyond Seduction by Stephanie Laurens
-Feast Of Fools by Rachel Caine
-The Compass Rose by Gail Dayton
-The Barbed Rose by Gail Dayton
-The Eternal Rose by Gail Dayton
-Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
-The Magicians’ Guild by Trudi Canavan
-The Killing Moon by Rebecca York
-Warrier by Angela Knight
-Eternal Pleasure by Nina Bangs
-On A Wicked Dawn by Stephanie Laurens
-Be My Babies, by Kathryn Shay
-Married By Mistake by Abby Gaines