When I received the email from my editor at Ellora’s Cave telling me my novel, Sheet Music, had been accepted for publication, I was very quiet…for about ten seconds. Then, I let out a scream that was heard around the block. Or, at least by my father, who came running to see if aliens were trying to abduct me.
In that excited moment, and the blissful days that followed, I had no real concept of what awaited me on the road to publication. I knew edits would likely be part of the process. And a web site—I needed to get one! I had vague thoughts about contracts and covers, but really, what loomed ahead of me was the promise of uncharted territory and an exhilarating ride.
For those of you who are curious about what goes on behind the scenes, here is a diary of my actions from the day of that wondrous email to right now, as I sit here writing this blog post. For those of you who are published, I hope it will bring back fond memories. For those of you who are seeking publication, at least with an e-book publisher, I hope it will shed some light on what you can hope for.
~ Tibby’s Diary ~
5/21/2010 2:23 PM: Receive acceptance e-mail from editor.
5/21/2010 2:24 PM: Dance around the house and call everyone I know.
5/21/2010 4:46 PM: Reply to editor that, yes, I will take her editorial suggestions for additional changes to the manuscript. Of course I want them to publish my baby!
5/23/2010 5:20 PM: Receive a boatload of documents, including the coveted contract, from Ellora’s Cave in my email.
5/23/2010 7:33 PM: Send contract to my lawyer to look over.
5/23/2010 7:51 PM: Write the author bio which must be submitted among the other forms that came with the contract. (Realize later that when Kelli Collins tweets that everyone seems to have started writing when they were pre-puberty, she is probably referring to my author bio. Yes, I am embarrassed, but decide to leave in this tidbit since it’s true! *grin*)
5/23/2010 9:01 PM: Receive email response from editor that if I received contract documents, both my book title and my pen name have been accepted.
5/24/2010 7:54 PM: Send revisions to editor and receive reply that, wow, while it’s appreciated, the edits weren’t expected until I received the full line edited manuscript. No problem though. It’s less work to do later on.
5/24/2010 11:10 PM: Send revised synopsis to editor.
5/24/2010 7:22 PM: Receive email from lawyer advising me on changes to request in the contract. Turn email around to publisher requesting changes.
5/25/2010 7:23 AM: Received a few small edits to synopsis from editor, with directions to include final copy with contract.
5/25/2010 10:49 AM: Receive offer on new contract based on the changes I requested. One change has been accepted, the other denied. Turn email around to publisher stating that offered amendment is acceptable. Receive amended contract less than an hour later.
Over the next few days, I go on a road trip and attempt to return the contract to the publisher before my editor goes on a week’s vacation. This proves disastrous, as I overnight the packet without one of the most important forms. I receive an email from the publisher stating that the form is missing, and have to pay to overnight the package again, missing the deadline I’d set for myself.
I spend the week of 6/1/2010 working with a web designer on putting together my web site.
6/15/2010 11:10 AM: Receive word from editor that contract has been processed. Also receive another boatload of documents, including a hefty style guide to peruse!
6/20/2010 3:15 PM: Receive MORE documents detailing additional publisher policies, as well as invitations to author chat loops.
6/20/2010 5:32 PM: Receive line edits for Sheet Music.
6/20/2010 11:09 PM: Return edited manuscript to editor.
6/22/1010 9:28 AM: Receive PDF version of the signed contract.
7/2/2010 11:30 PM: Return completed interview form for my first blog interview!
7/10/2010 7:38 AM: Receive Final Line Edits (FLEs) from editor.
7/10/2010 11:01 AM: Return manuscript incorporating (FLEs) to editor.
7/14/2010 10:16 AM: Receive cover art and verify to publisher that my name is spelled correctly on the cover.
7/26/2010 1:10 PM: Receive copies of novel in official formats!
8/4/2010: Sheet Music is released!
Note: Over this time I had also been working on promotional efforts, including my web site, blogging, and have started two new novels, one of which is half finished! No rest for the wicked, but being wicked has never been so much fun!
You’re invited to read an excerpt of Sheet Music on the Ellora’s Cave web site. Here is the cover blurb:
Music journalist Kyra Martin faces the toughest assignment of her career—to write a cover story about enigmatic heartthrob David Tallis. Deadline looming, Kyra plans to go undercover. When she ends up under the covers with the sexy superstar instead, can both her career and their budding relationship survive?
With a closet full of skeletons to hide, and a paparazzi-fueled divorce behind him, David Tallis despises the press. When Kyra Martin bribes her way into his life, her sexy assets have him composing a duplicitous seduction. Ensnared in a media maelstrom of his own making, can David face the music? Or will he lose Kyra, along with another piece of himself?
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you!