Lessons from "Proposal to Publication"
I really enjoyed my blogging break last week, and I’m glad I got a chance to re-run the “Proposal to Publication” series. I hope it helped de-mystify the process for you.
As I was reading through it, I noticed there are some lessons you could take away in terms of what you can be preparing yourself for, now, before you enter the process.
1. Many writers balk at the requirement to write a really strong book proposal. You may have noticed in Friday’s post that everyone in the publishing company, including the sales, marketing, and art departments, are given your book proposal and sample chapters. They might not have time to read your whole book, but they need to know enough to do their jobs. This should be enough of an incentive for you to write the best book proposal you possibly can! If your book is fiction, that 1-sentence hook and 1-page synopsis are all-important.
2. Editing: I’ve said this before, but you need to be ready for your work to be ripped apart with no apologies from your editor. You already know they like it because they bought it. Try not to be too sensitive here; they just want to help you be the best you can be.
3. Editors typically work in MS Word, and often the editing process consists of sending your manuscript back and forth via email, using Track Changes and Comments. You need to be VERY comfortable with this process. If you’re not, get a buddy, and practice passing a document back and forth to each other making edits using Track Changes and Comments.
4. Since you MAY be asked for lists of contacts to create Influencer lists and Endorser lists, you’ll want to be networking in the writing community and making friends long before you’re published. Writers conferences and online groups are a terrific way to do this.
5. Since your title and cover design will be up to the publisher, don’t get your heart TOO set on something in particular. If you believe this is a dealbreaker issue for you, then you must get it written into the contract (good luck with that).
6. With all the revisions, editing, and marketing… be ready for your life to be busier once you get a contract. Can you handle it?
Was there anything that surprised you about the process I described last week? Did it encourage you – or the opposite?