I'm excited to share my "blog spot" (Get it?! Blogspot?!) today with fellow SCBWI member Anna Staniszewski. Anna was born in Poland and raised in the United States. She grew up loving stories in both Polish and English. Currently, she lives outside Boston with her husband and their crazy dog. When she’s not writing, Anna spends her time reading, daydreaming, and challenging unicorns to games of hopscotch. She is the author of the My Very UnFairy Tale Life series and the Dirt Diary series. Her newest book, The Prank List, releases on July 1st from Sourcebooks. Anna has a great sense of humor and wonderful wisdom to share in today's post, "What to expect after the sale."
What to expect after the sale by Anna Staniszewski
It finally happened; you sold your first book! You’ve run around the neighborhood screaming the news and called your elementary school nemesis to gloat. Now what?
Every publisher is different, but here’s a general timeline of what to expect.
1. Silence. You’d think after all the excitement surrounding the sale, your editor would contact you the very next day to get cracking, but the truth is that selling a book means you’re now in the publisher’s queue. During the silence, make sure to start working on something new!
2. Marketing plan. The timing of this will depend on the publisher, but at some point you’ll probably receive an author questionnaire that will ask about you, your marketing/publicity connections, etc. You’ll quickly realize how very unmarketable you are, but keep in mind that this is just one of many tools that the marketing department will be using.
3. Revision Letter. We all dream of an editorial letter that’s a one-paragraph love letter with a couple of tiny suggestions thrown in, but chances are it will be very detailed and mind-bending. You’ll probably sit there staring at a wall for a little while after you read it, asking yourself how on earth you’re going to do the stuff your editor suggested. Fear not. You will find a way!
4. A cover. Again, the timing of this varies, but at some point you’ll either get a mock-up of the cover of your book or you’ll get the final version. Your editor might ask for suggestions or s/he might not. It can be hard to let go of control over what your book will look like, but remember that your publisher’s job is to know what sells books.
5. Another revision letter. Sometimes a book only goes through one big revision with an editor, but often you’ll receive at least two pretty significant editorial letters. This doesn’t mean your book was terrible to begin with. It simply means that your editor wants to make the book perfect so that everyone will fall in love with it as much as s/he did.
6. Line edits. You’ve fixed the big stuff and now it’s time to sweat the small stuff. This is where you’ll start to realize horrifying things about your writing, such as your reliance on words like “just” and “really.“ Luckily, the deadlines on line edits are usually pretty short or we’d probably all be rewording our books forever.
7. Copyedits. Now we’re really getting into the nitty gritty. This is your (almost) last chance to make any changes to the manuscript, and it is also when you’ll realize that you should have never been allowed to graduate from high school because you have no idea how to use commas.
8. Acknowledgements, dedication, and author bio. Now that the book is almost out in the world, it’s time to thank all the little people who helped you along the way and (if you wish) to dedicate the book to someone special.
9. First Pass Pages. This is it! The book is formatted the way it’s going to look when it’s printed, and this is your absolute last chance to catch any errors that weren’t caught before now. No pressure!
10. Advance reader copies. One day, probably out of the blue, you’ll receive ARCs of your book, and you’ll stare at them like they’re magic. It’s a book! It’s a real book! These are great for hugging and giveaways.
And after that, we all know what happens. Your book is published and becomes an instant success, and you buy a castle and make your elementary school nemesis work as your personal servant. The end.
You can visit Anna at www.annastan.com. And don't forget...The Prank List releases July 1st. Perfect book to add to your summer reading!