October 6, 2017
Why I’m Writing This Path to Pub Blog
The Subway Girls won’t be published until next summer, but because there are so many exciting things happening, I’ve decided to document them. For three reasons. First, I want a record of this experience for myself because I have a terrible memory so documenting all of the steps will allow me to reflect and remember. Second, I have read dozens of posts like this from other authors and perhaps, my experiences will help another first-timer who has no idea what to expect. Third, many of my readers (and my mom) tell me they like the behind-the-scenes accounts, and well, sharing is caring.
Still more recap from the past year…
At the end of Chapter Two, I mentioned that St. Martin’s Press sent out “bound manuscripts” to other authors in the hope they would provide a blurb. I asked some authors I had personal relationships with, and my agent and editor asked the others. When the blurbs started rolling in, I was blown away.
During that round and a previous round before the manuscript went on submission, eight talented authors wrote thoughtful blurbs that I’m overjoyed to have gracing the front and back covers of my book along with the sell pages on retailer sites, like Amazon, Barnes&Noble, etc. To see all the blurbs, click on the image to the left. A huge thank you to Nicola Kraus, Fiona Davis, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Amy Poeppel, Lynda Cohen Loigman, Amy Sue Nathan, Kristin Contino, and Orly Konig-Lopez for taking the time to both read my manuscript and write such terrific blurbs.
Then the copyeditors rolled in with their sharpened pencils and keen eyes and we went through a couple rounds. It was all presented very professionally to me with a style sheet and Macmillan’s copyediting guidelines document.
I was given a couple weeks to get my edits in but I was eager and excited and dropped everything else to get the edits back four days later. We went back and forth quickly one or two more times with small changes and then the manuscript was done. That was a good feeling.
I was excitedly nervous about the cover design process. Every author wants her cover to be beautifully designed and to capture the story just so. We know our potential readers will judge our book by its cover. And we will be spending a lot of time promoting the cover, posing with the cover, and doing all sorts of other authorly things with it. We want to love our covers!
Back in March, soon after we signed the deal and at the suggestion of my first editor Alicia (more on why I specify “first” in chapter four), I put together a “Thoughts on Covers” memo that she offered to share with the designer. It talked about my vision for the cover, had thumbnails of the types of cover concepts I love and could see for this book (see image at left), and it had thumbnails of cover concepts that I didn’t think fit with my book (not a chance I’m sharing those!). I made it very clear in that memo that though I had particular thoughts about what I envision, I would defer to the expertise of the cover designers who take many things into account when they design a cover. I respected the process, and I respected St. Martin’s Press. And then I waited. And waited.
On August 10, I got the first email with cover designs in them. I was so nervous to open the email. What if I hated the cover? Would I get to have any input? There are countless blog posts by authors who hate their covers so I knew it was a possibility (just Google “I hate my book cover.”). So I took a deep breath and opened the email. And I didn’t hate it! In fact it was great!
To make a long story short, we ended up going through a few rounds and when it was all done, a little over a week later, we ended up with a design I love. A huge thank you to the talented cover designer Kerri Resnick!
(If you happen to be reading this in early October, the reason I’m not posting the cover image is because we are waiting to do the Cover Reveal. As soon as that’s out, I’ll post the cover here.)
Coming in Chapter 4: Meeting my new editor, final edits, and the cover reveal.