Authors, Books, Fiction, publishing

Getting Published: Approval Process Part 2

In my last post, I talked about the approval process for illustrations (which may only apply to the cover if you don’t have illustrations in the book). In this post, I’m going to talk about the process for layout and text approval.

This process for me was very similar to the illustrations approval. When the book was formatted and ready to be sent to the printer, the publisher sent proofs of the final version to be sent to the printer. I cannot stress this enough. Go Over The Proof Thoroughly! This is your chance to catch anything before it’s too late or costly to make changes.

With my proofs, the publisher and I changed several things before ultimately approving them. We did some formatting changes on a certain characters text, which wound up deleting or pushing two paragraphs off the page. If we hadn’t been diligent, we would have printed with missing text. And nobody wants an incomplete story.

A lot of this boils down to establishing a good working relationship with your publisher or contact for the publisher. Being courteous in your correspondence and timely with responses goes a long way in establishing this relationship. Remember, you want the publisher to want to work with you again.

Until next time, Stay Focused and Write On!

Authors, Books, Writing

Author Interview: Brad Bott

Author Interview: Brad Bott
— Read on

Swing on over and check out my author interview.

Authors, Books, Fiction, publishing

Getting Published: Approval Process

In my previous posts, I talked about the submission and the contract when getting published. It’s been a little longer then planned since my last post, but life gets busy sometimes.

As a reminder, this is my personal experience with my first book, not a definitive guide on what will happen.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew I wanted a product that looked good and I would be willing to buy. Once I had signed the contract, I checked out the different illustrators by scrolling through my publisher’s website. When I found a style I liked, I asked to use that illustrator. I did this early enough in the process that they approved. It never hurts to ask. Also, this was the only out-of-pocket cost I had.

After I got my illustrator, she came up with 2 sample illustrations that I had the chance to approve before continuing to make a total of 19 pictures plus the cover art. Keep in mind, my publisher can make the final decision if we didn’t totally agree on something.

I cannot stress this enough. Go over the pictures. Don’t just assume they’re perfect. I had to make some suggestions on a couple pictures. Look at them with a sense of what might other people think about them or turn it into. What could someone get up in arms about? Look at the cover fonts to make sure you can read them. A little diligence early pays off in the long run.

In the end, the book has your name on it and you want the best product you can get. I would caution you on being completely knit-picky, because you want the illustrator to be free to create. Plus, I feel like it will make both publisher and illustrator question working with you again if they’re constantly having to make changes.

My next post will be a continuation of the approval process about the actual text. Until then, Stay Focused and Write On!

Authors, Books, Writing

Getting Published: The Contract

In this post, I’m going to talk about my experience with receiving and signing a contract for a book deal. Again, this is my personal experience with the process, it’s not the definitive example of a contract and the process, just something to file away for when you need it.

I wasn’t expecting a contract when it showed up in an attachment to an email informing me I hadn’t won the competition I had submitted to. But they liked the story enough to want to publish it. A lot ran through my mind. Things like: This is exciting, do I need to have a lawyer, what’s this going to cost me out-of-pocket, and did I mention this is exciting.

Once I looked over the contract, I decided I really didn’t need anyone else to go over it. I’m sure this wouldn’t be the case for every contract, but in this case, everything seemed on the up and up.

Here’s a few of the more useful things I learned about book contracts.

They read like legislation, which is to say, heavy on the lawyer speak. Go read some proposed bills or current law if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Get a notebook and pen. Read the contract line by line jotting down what’s required of you and what the publisher is offering. This helped me tremendously.

Make sure you know what rights you retain and what rights the publisher gets. There’s potential for legal troubles if you don’t abide by the terms of the contract.

If in doubt, ask. If you’re aligned with a reputable publisher, they’re going to help you.

Take your time to decide if the contract is a good fit for you and your goals.

Again, this is just one experience with a book contract and my publisher made the process a breeze. Just be wary and when in doubt, get someone else to look it over.

Stay Focused and Write On!

Authors, Books, Writing

Getting Published #1

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’m going to try to go through the steps of what happens on the way to publication. At least in my case. I’m not an expert by any means. This is my first book after all. And this is only one route, of many, to get published.

The Submission:

I know, sounds daunting and perilous. Like you’re releasing a child into the world to be mocked and ridiculed. But it’s really not that bad. Just go for it. The worst that can happen is you get rejected. Then you just submit elsewhere. It’s not a reflection of you personally.

In my case, I was working on a short story about a not so typical genie, when I saw a competition for a publishing deal for a picture book. I tweaked the story a little to fit the criteria and finished it up, reviewed, edited a couple times, and polished it up. And submitted. Make sure what you submit fits the criteria for the competition or you’re just wasting yours and everyone else’s time.

Keep in mind that some competitions are free and others cost money. Usually 10 to 20 dollars. This one had a fee, so I weighed the pros and cons. I decided it was worth it and submitted. I usually do a few fee based and several free competitions throughout the year. You could quickly go broke doing all the fee based ones out there. Set a monthly or yearly budget for these and stick with it.

Then comes the waiting and the questioning voice in your head. Will I win? Will they even like it? Should I have submitted? This goes on until you hear back. I like to submit closer to the deadline to reduce the amount of time for that little voice to pester me.

Then the email finally arrives. What’s it going to say? A moment of hesitation and click. “We’re sorry to inform you…”. Those dreaded words. The demise of many a writer. But make sure you read the entire response. There may be feedback or other important info. In my case, I didn’t win, but was offered a contract because they liked the story so much.

This brings us to the contract stage, which I’ll talk about in my next post.

Books, Writing

Long Time No Post

It’s been quite some time since I last posted. Life, work, and just focusing more on writing, but it seems to have paid off. I got my 1st book published about a month ago. Exiting to say the least. I’m planning on doing a series of posts about the publishing process. At least my path through the process. Maybe it will give you some insight into what happens after you send out that finished story or novel. Until then, swing by Amazon and pick up a copy of my picture book, Just One Wish, from PenItPublications and Illustrated by Savannah Horton. Write on!