Thursday, June 17, 2010

Edit This

I signed the contract with Medallion for FINAL VECTOR late last December, and the month or so after that was a flurry of activity. There was the contract to sign, the Pre-Publication Title Sheet to fill out, the cover art to be designed (not that I had much to do with that, beyond my initial input). I was excited and busy.

Then, after that, there was some drama regarding the format of my book. It was initially to be released in mass-market paperback, but with the rapidly changing dynamics in the publishing industry all but destroying the market for mass-market paperbacks unless you are a well-known bestselling author, the format shifted to e-book instead.

That format shift caused me some heartache initially, as you know if you've read some of my past posts, but I came to understand the situation from the publisher's point of view and have come to embrace the e-book as a way to potentially sell a lot of books and get my name out there among thriller fans.

The point is, in that first three months or so after signing my contract, there was a lot of activity, book-wise. Since then, though, things quieted. I've kept busy, of course, working on a new manuscript, the first draft of which is over one-third complete, and submitting short stories, of which two have been accepted for publication and more to come, hopefully.

But on the FINAL VECTOR front, not much. Until two days ago. That's when I received the proposed changes and edits to the manuscript from my editor at Medallion. I figured I would be hearing from her soon, but I really had no idea when, this being my first book and all.

So now I understand the term "under deadline." I've got a lot of material to go through, with a date of June 30 for the whole shebang to be returned to the publisher. The problem, of course, is that this is all new to me. It's the first time I've ever had any contact whatsoever with a professional editor, and learning all of the notations and how to work with the edited manuscript in Word format has been . . . interesting, to say the least.

It's taken me the better part of a day-and-a-half just to figure most of that stuff out, but after a couple of emails back and forth with my editor, I think I'm now good to go. Is it just me, or can you hear a clock ticking?

There is some leeway with the June 30 deadline, according to my editor, but as a brand-new author, the last thing I want is for my publisher to get any kind of notion that I might be difficult to work with or that I can't meet a deadline. So June 30 it is.

Sleep's overrated, anyway, right?

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