I have recently signed with a publisher and am quickly learning about the publishing process. I have to say, I was clueless as to how it all worked before, but am finding the whole thing fascinating as it unravels.
I naively thought you write a book, they decide if they’re going to publish it and if they are, they correct a couple of errors and Bob’s your uncle. Oh no, no, no. That is not how it works at all.
Here’s what’s happened so far:
- After sending the submission off (synopsis plus first few chapters) I waited for a response.
- It took several months for the response to come, although they did send me a courteous holding email saying when they’d let me know by.
- When they came back it was to say they liked my story and characters but I needed to make a few edits before they made a final decision. These changes were mainly to do with point of view and the fact that I’d jumped between heads all rather quickly from one to another! I could see this instantly when they pointed it out but hadn’t noticed when I’d been proof-reading it.
- The editor assigned to me has been very good at giving me timescales as to when the next stage would happen.
- When they’d had chance to review what I’d changed they sent me a contract to read and sign.
- After that I received a form to fill out which asked me to detail what my characters looked like – for the all-important cover! Very exciting stuff.
- On this form I was also asked for a dedication and blurb. I always assumed that was written for you and it was fascinating to see that the author is actually behind it (although I imagine this depends on your publisher).
- I have now (about two months from receiving the publisher’s first positive response) being sent the first round of edits. I haven’t dared open these yet as she’s warned me the red might look intimidating – that’s tomorrow’s job!
- I now need to go through the edits and accept or challenge them.
- The manuscript then goes through a further two rounds of edits.
I have to say, I never knew how much work went into one manuscript, on behalf of the author and the editor. It’s highly interesting and exciting to have this experience and a great insight into the whole publishing process.
I have a feeling I’m only really in the initial stages, so I’ll keep you posted on the latter stages as and when they happen.