Launching A Book–Part 3









Edits. Track Changes. Copy Edits. Proofreading copy. More edits. Deadlines. Deadlines. Deadlines.

Launching a book is not the process I thought it would be when I first signed my contract. These past few weeks I put the finishing touches on the final proofread of book one before I send the manuscript back to my editor. Every comment from her or the proofreaders had to be addressed. Each word choice checked. Meticulous, tiring work, but satisfying as well.

One proofreader sent me a note through my publisher saying, “I hope to finish in the next few days. I had to stop for the evening because I’m having trouble reading through my tears. This is good stuff!”

Be still, my heart. My story made a proofreader— a man—cry? I had to stop and catch my breath. I didn’t see that coming.

Three proofreaders read the manuscript and made suggestions. In some places they disagreed about the need for changes. In others they concurred. The constantly shifting copy made my head swim, but the book moves forward, now barreling down the publishing timeline to its release date, September 1.

Once I submit the final read, I also have to send the copy for the second novel which will launch next year. I received the content edit back this week. The woman who read it made some great suggestions and found some (oops!) inconsistencies. All part of the process.

Often I feel as if I climbed aboard a treadmill from which I can’t step off. But rather than feeling tired, or overwhelmed, I’m buoyed by the fact that I will soon be a published novelist. A title I’ve worked hard to achieve. God, in His wisdom, knew when my turn could come.

I think of Esther (Esther 4:14) who was afraid when she was called to defend her people and Mordecai said to her, “who knows whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Like her, my time is here. Both exciting and frightening.

I’m sure there will be more tripping hazards ahead—like reviews, sale numbers, blog interviews, and book signings—but I’ve earned the right to participate and I am ready to take it on. For better or for worse.

More to come soon.

Launching a Book–Part 2

This week I met the graphic artist hired to design my cover. When I say “met”, she appeared in a chat line thread on my Facebook page, along with my editor. Her picture was the size of a cheerio on the screen. I have no idea where she lived. Via computer and online messaging we discussed how the book should look.

When I earned my journalism degree, I studied graphic design. I knew some of the elemental properties a good page should have. But in my time, “cut and paste” meant using scissors, x-acto knives, and glue stick. (If you don’t know what those things are, consult Wikipedia).  Computers and their ability to manipulate graphic images had not yet appeared. We literally cut our pictures and text apart and pasted them on a ruled background printed in camera blue. The color guaranteed that the design lines would not be copied by the camera lens.

The process I experienced this week was far more sophisticated. I’d completed a template beforehand that listed the elements I thought the cover should have. I’d been asked to suggest other covers I’d seen that I liked and to search online photo banks for pictures I thought represented my story. I chose models in various poses who resembled my title character.

The graphic artist took my suggestions and created five different covers for me to consider. I was overwhelmed. They were all good possibilities, but one stood out from the rest. The tone of the page—the combination of colors, photos, and lettering—matched what I felt as I wrote the story. My editor had the artist flip the pictures to see if they worked better from that angle. In the end, the final composite pleased all of us. A new cover had been born.

An editor friend reported this week that his most recent box of books had arrived. He said he never tires of the feeling a new work stirs within.  I can truly say the process made me ecstatic. I looked at the cover and thought, “I’d like to read this book.”  Then I realized I’d written it. Reading the story would pass to you, my friends who have shared this journey with me.

A “cover reveal” will happen later, as the novel, An Anchor on Her Heart, nears its release date. I’ll keep you posted. Until then, you can dream.