Have you ever wondered what exactly happens after an author submits a story and a publisher accepts it? Well, I’m not an expert, and I can only speak for my own experiences with e-publishing. Other authors may have very different experiences. But here is mine.
1. The author has read, polished, re-read and re-polished the story and submits it to a publisher.
Let’s pretend that the publisher decides they want to offer a contract for the book with no pre-contract revisions requested. (Sometimes a publisher may think the story has promise, but they want to see some changes before they accept the book.)
2. In a few days or a week, the publisher sends a contract to the author to sign. Contracts differ from publisher to publisher. The author reads over the contract, makes sure s/he has no questions or concerns (The house I’m with, Liquid Silver Books, has a very straight forward, easy to read contract) and if s/he is satisfied, the author signs the contract and returns it to the publisher.
3. The publisher sends a Cover Art form to the author. The author describes his/her characters, perhaps some key scenes from the story etc, and returns it to the publisher.
4. After a month or three the editor contacts the author and the editing process begins. This might take a couple months, depending on how many times the editor and author go through the story. My editor did a first pass to have me correct some grammer and basics, and then a second pass to add some more description and round out some scenes, and a third polishing pass.
5. The artist turns in his/her initial mock up cover art and the publisher sends it to the author. The author may make some suggestions or want some changes made. These suggestions may or may not be accepted. The author has limited control over his/her cover.
6. The author writes a blurb about the story, about 100 words. It should tell a reader what to expect and “hook” them so they’ll want to read it.
7. Final cover art is submitted and approved. The publisher sends it to the author. The author (that is to say, ME) will show it off to everyone, even complete strangers, and post it on their website or blog.
8. Final Line Edits are sent to the author. The copy editor is probably a different person than the previous editor. This is the final edit to catch any spelling and grammar errors, and perhaps some details that may detract from the story.
9. The author is given a Release Date. S/he may do some special blogging or other types of promotion for the new book.
10. The book comes out!
11. Royalties come pouring in. (Hopefully. But for someone like me who has never been paid for writing, even a small check is exciting.)
For most epublishers the time from signing the contract to release is around 6 months. My first book was 4 months two weeks from signing the contract to the release date. Right now I’m at step 3 for Wolf’s Glory, and have Tracking Tami about 1/3 of the way written in rough draft.
I’ve always loved to write. Now it’s a job, so I have to take it more seriously and be sure I can meet deadlines. Sometimes it seems a little less fun and more like work, but I still love it.
This morning I signed the contract with Liquid Silver Books for Wolf’s Glory, and I just sent in the Cover Art Request form now. I’m not sure exactly, but I’m guessing the book will be available the end of June or the beginning of July.
To celebrate, here is a short unedited excerpt of Glory and Shadow meeting for the first time. After their plane crashed Glory and Jane were paired up to walk to find help for the injured. After a day of walking over empty prairie they find a group of men on horseback with a pack of dogs and flag them down for help.
Glory turned her attention back to the Indians, searching them for phones. She didn’t see any and none of them wore enough clothing to hide a cell phone in, so she supposed they didn’t have any with them.
“Um.” Glory had to clear her throat to cut through the dust coating her throat. “Hi. Sorry to interrupt your … whatever you’re doing. But can you help us? Our airplane went down back that ways and – and … Wow.”
Another Indian walked through the horses, tightening the string around his waist that held his breechcloth up, and Glory completely forgot what she’d been saying. It was a movie set! Who else would dress like this except actors making a Dances With Wolves movie? That was her favorite wrestling star in makeup and a really long black wig. And very little clothing. Yowza. He was living proof that guys like the ones on romance covers really did exist. Damn, he was hot. She swallowed, wiping a hand over her chin in case she was drooling, and started over.
“Hi. Look, sorry to bother you, but our plane crashed and we need help. Like an ambulance. And …” her voice trailed off again because all these men were looking at her very strangely and sniffing the air. The extra-gorgeous one leaned down to sniff at her neck. She and Jane weren’t freshly bathed, but talk about rude. “Hey!” She snapped her fingers. “Listen up! This is important.”
It’s looking less and less likely that Fargo Moorhead will avoid a major flood this year. The city is asking all the larger employers to send 10% of their workforce to Sandbag Central to make sandbags on company time. My employer signed up for today, Feb 21, and next Monday Feb 28. I took the morning shift. We were all smiles as we took our places at Shute #1.
I was going to try for a light hearted tone, and talk about my announcement to the entire building that I wrote smutty romance and the drop dead gorgeous guy I clunked in the head with my shovel handle, but really I hurt too much right now for that. I am almost 50 years old, and extremely out of shape, but some of the younger gals from work were hurting pretty badly too by the end of our four hours. Just let me say that I am proud of the hard work I put in today and I hope that it will help in the flood fight.
The weather service is saying that this flood has a higher than 25% chance of topping the flood of 2009. Here is a short feel-good slide show about 2009. I’ve watched it a couple times and it almost gets me to the point where I can stand straight and raise my hands above my waist.
I know I’m almost fifty years old, but I still enjoy reading Young Adult novels. In fact, I just read an ARC for Dark Mirror by MJ Putney (MaryJo Putney is one of my fave historical romance writers, and she’s writing YA as MJ Putney) and I loved it. My Thursday 13 is a list of some of my favorite YA novels, some old and some new.
3. Lark by Sally Watson.
4. The Hornet’s Nest by Sally Watson
9. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
11. Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Do you still read Young Adult books? Which are your favorites?
The Spread the Love Valentine’s Day Blog Hop was a lot of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the snippets, excerpts and short stories along the way. Many thanks to Alanna and Michael for setting it up, and thanks to Mr. Catherine A Noone for supplying the romantic photo that inspired so many of us. Thank you to each of you who hopped on the tour bus and visited our blogs and left so many lovely comments. I hope we can do this again soon!
The winner of the download of Sleeping With the Wolf was Falyn D. Congrats, Falyn!
Welcome to the Valentines Blog Hop!
If you happen to fall off the tour bus, you can hop back on here.
I hope you’ve been enjoying the various snippets and excerpts we’re posting for this blog hop. I love doing these. I was a reader long before I was a writer and I look forward to getting to know writers and finding more books to add to my To-Be-Read pile.
My excerpt is part of a scene that will appear in the next After the Crash book, and may be the intro to the 5th book in the series. Rose Turner was not quite sixteen when her plane crashed fifty years in the future. There was no electricity or cars or other technology in this future, and women were scarce. What the future did have was men that could turn into wolves. And one of them, a teenager just a little older than she, had claimed her for his mate. This excerpt takes place a month after they first met. Their story will take place seven years in the future. Sky and Rose have quite a bit of growing up to do before they can truly fall in love with each other. The first book in the series, Sleeping With the Wolf (the story of how Taye won Carla’s love), is the prize I’m offering.
Don’t forget to join us at 6pm Central Time (7pm Eastern time) for a chat at Gem Sivad’s chat room.
Rose left her room in the den to head to supper. Her stomach dropped when she saw Sky leaning against the wall, obviously waiting for her. He was wearing only a pair of worn out jeans, which was more than most of the wolves here wore. His bare chest was overly developed for a seventeen-year-old, Rose sniffed to herself. For just one second, she wanted to step back into her room and slam the door shut. Taye, the Pack Alpha, had forbidden Sky to set foot in her room; it was the only place she was safe from him. Not that Sky would hurt her. No, of course he wouldn’t, but ever since he had announced that his wolf had chosen her for his mate she had felt like a rabbit he was hunting.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. In her world she would have been dating the speech and debate team captain, not avoiding a teenaged werewolf who had all the social graces of a caveman.
The hallway was too narrow for her to walk past him without coming within arm’s reach of him. Should she go back into her room and hope he went away? Sky didn’t give her a chance to retreat. With the unnatural speed and grace that all the wolves had, he bounded forward and snatched her arm. “You sat next to that Kearney man,” he accused in a snarl.
“I didn’t sit next to him. He sat next to me! Not that it’s any of your business who I sit by.”
“It is. You’re my mate,” he said, hard and furious.
“No!” Rose shouted, trying to free her arm. “I’m not your mate! Even if we weren’t too young, you couldn’t pay me enough to be your mate.”
Sky’s voice rose to a muted roar. “You are my mate, and I’ll kill the next man who touches you.”
“Could you please be a little more dramatic?”
Her sarcasm rolled right off his bare broad shoulders. His eyes, unearthly blue in his dark face, shimmered like a cat’s. “You shouldn’t play with me, mate.”
“I’m not playing.” Rose tried to smooth her voice to something calm and reasonable. “I’m only sixteen. You’re just seventeen. Carla said you should leave me alone until I’m eighteen. Then we can … discuss our relationship.”
With a strength that no seventeen year old should have, Sky pushed her against the wall and held her there. “Why should we wait? We’re old enough.”
Rose yelled, “Let me go! Stop! Help!”
The strength of his body pressing against her almost made her forget how the scent of him always made her knees weak. He had her sandwiched between his near-naked body and the wall, holding her hands above her head, so even if her knees did buckle she couldn’t fall. She stared wide-eyed into his face for a long second and then he was kissing her savagely in spite of her attempts to jerk her head away.
“No,” she tried to say, but his mouth smothered her voice. And … It smothered her resistance too. His mouth was rough on hers but hot too, and his weight was pressing on that one spot that made her want to squirm even closer. She dimly felt his hands roam the collar of her shirt.
Then out of the corner of her eye she saw movement. Taye was coming up the hallway like a thunderstorm rolling across the sky. He tore Sky away from Rose and threw him into the opposite wall. Rose gasped, trying to control her shudders. Of relief? Or just reaction to Sky’s forceful lovemaking?
The hallway was filling with wolves. Carla pushed her way to the front of the crowd to stare with horrified eyes at Sky. Sky was half-crouched against the wall, staring defiantly at Taye. And Taye—easy-going Taye—was standing tall and unmoving, putting out infuriated Alpha vibes that made Rose want to cringe and thank God it was directed at Sky instead of her. Her hand shook as she wiped at the tears she hadn’t known she’d shed.
“Sky, explain yourself,” Taye demanded.
For another second Sky held Taye’s eyes. Then his challenge wavered, his eyes dropped and he tilted back his head to show his throat.
“Explain yourself,” Taye said again, more mildly. “We do not ever hurt our mates.”
Sky slid a yearning look at Rose before answering. “I only did what the man in the book you gave me did to his woman when she defied him. I held Rose so she couldn’t get away and I kissed her. I was going to tear her shirt off like the man in the book did, but I didn’t want to ruin her shirt by ripping it so I tried to take it off her gently—but she started to cry. That’s not what happened in the book!” He glared accusingly at Taye.
“Taye!” Carla’s voice was exasperated. “You gave him one of your romance novels to use as a game plan for seducing Rose?”
Sky said defensively, “It worked for the Chief. You fell in love with him right away.”
“He never held me down and tried to force me … Oh, never mind! Those books are a lot of fun to read, but they’re not real. Women don’t really want to be treated like that.”
Now Taye was frowning. “But last night—“
“Sh!” hissed Carla, blushing. She cleared her throat and shot a self-conscious look around at all the interested faces in the hallway. “After a woman gets to know a man she might—might!—enjoy pretending sometimes. But not right away. In the beginning a man should bring a woman roses. When he’s sure she’s the right one, he should get down on one knee and beg her to love him.”
Wolves were staring at Carla, fascinated. Taye looked horror-struck. “You wanted me to beg you to love me?”
Carla curled her mouth into a tiny smile, looked her tall muscular mate up and down, and shook her head. “I didn’t need to beg you to love me. I already knew you did.”
Taye took her hand and pressed a kiss to her palm. “I loved you the moment I first saw you. You will never need to beg me for anything.”
Sky straightened up from his crouch with a sound of disgust. He leveled a glare at Rose, who folded her arms and said loudly, “I will never beg you for anything.”
“We’ll see about that,” he snapped back.
Taye turned around, the tender lover gone and the furious Alpha back. He hoisted Sky up by one hand under his arm and dragged him down the hall. “You have a lot to learn about being a mate and until you show some sign of learning it, you will stay away from Rose.”
Rose let out a shaky breath, finally relaxing. But when Sky looked back at her she froze again. His long black hair swaying over his back was as beautiful as a woman’s, but the heat in those blue eyes was all male. It promised her that this was not over.
Hey, everyone, come visit the http://justromance.me/ romance blog hop starting tomorrow. Win books! Read excerpts and short short stories by great romance writers. If you’ve read Sleeping with the Wolf, you might like a little sneak peek at what going on with Carla and Taye a month after their book ended. If you haven’t read and you think you might like to, you can be entered to win a free download just for going on the blog hop.
Looking forward to lots of fun visitors tomorrow!
This is a trivia sort of post today for Thursday 13, all dealing with Fargo, North Dakota. The information here is true to the best of my knowledge, but I wouldn’t use it as documentation for a school report or anything like that. The fact is, I love Fargo. This is the place where I call home. It’s not the most beautiful spot on earth (unless you like perfectly flat land with few trees) but it is home, with some of the finest people on earth. Of course, we have crime and people who behave badly, but our crime rate is hugely lower than other places. How many cities can count the annual murder rate on 1 or 2 fingers, and sometimes on no fingers?
1. Fargo is the largest city in North Dakota, with a population of about 100,000. I think Bismarck is a little smaller than that.
2. Fargo sits on the Red River of the North, one of the few rivers in the world that flows directly north (with lots of little twisty turns along the way).
3. The average high temperature in January is 14 F, the average low is -3 F. The average high in July is 83 F, the average low is 60 F. The lowest temperature ever recorded was -48 F with a windchill of -103 F. The highest temp ever recorded was 114 F. We have a very wide range of temps. Fargo proudly holds the distinction of being voted the toughest weather city in America by the Weather Channel.
4. Last night, Feb 7, 2011 the windchill was -32 F, although the actual temp was -11 F. This is very normal for us because we have continuous wind. In fact, the news actually makes mention of when the wind is calm because it is so unusual.
5. Fargo was founded in 1871, only six years after the Civil War ended, but for decades before that it was a (very small) stop on the Red River Cart trail that went from St Cloud MN to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Most carts went further north of Fargo, where the river was wider and deeper and steamboats could go. Fargo was first called Centralia, but the name was changed to Fargo, after the director of the Wells Fargo Express company.
6. In the 1880s Fargo’s laws allowed for quick and easy divorces, and it became known as the Divorce Capital of the US. Famous people came to Fargo to get their divorces.
7. The Red River Valley is actually the bed of an ancient glacier lake called Lake Aggasiz. As the glacier pushed and retreated hundreds of times over many years, it left behind some of the richest soil in the world. Little children in our region use black crayons to color dirt because that is the color the dirt in the fields is. I always do a double take when I’m driving in other areas and see tan or reddish dirt in the fields.
8. In 1920, 75.4% of the residents in Fargo were of German and/or Scandinavian descent, and 12% did not speak fluent English. Even 20 years ago the residents of old folks’ homes chatted easily with one other in Norwegian or German. Today, if you go to Fargo restaurant 70% of the heads will be blond. 20% will have light to mid brown hair. The Royalty of Norway have historically visited Minnesota and North Dakota as often as they do Washington DC. Way back in the beginning of the 20th century, the Crown Prince of Norway gave the commencement speech at a local college. As an Italian-American, I stand out like a sore thumb here. When I went back to Milwaukee for a family funeral I couldn’t believe how many dark haired people there were.
9. Famous Fargoans include Johnny Lang, Bobby Vee, Roger Maris, Charlie Korsmo. Kevin Sorbo, who played Hercules, went to school in the area. (I had two college classes with Kevin Sorbo at MSU) And of course, there was that movie with Frances McDormand and Steve Buscemi called Fargo–which had to be filmed elsewhere because we didn’t have enough snow that year.
Flooding – When you live on a river, spring time revolves around protecting oneself and one’s property from the flooded river. Flood stage in Fargo is 18 feet. We always have some degree of flooding, but one expects it to be mild enough for the permanent dike to hold the water off. Perhaps a few of the streets right on the river will be closed, but it’s nothing major.
10. We’ve had many major floods in Fargo, the recordable ones starting in 1897. The first “big one” I remember was in 1997. The river crested at a record 39.5 feet. That is the year that pretty much the entire city of Grand Forks, 65 miles downstream from us, was lost. It was called the 500 year flood, and was predicted to not happen again in our lifetime.
11. In 2009, only 12 years later, we had a our second 500 year flood. We take protecting our city very seriously. Everyone pitches in. Schools were cancelled. Businesses closed. All students and workers joined the flood fight. Water and toilet flushing was rationed. Limited laundry was allowed. There is nothing like having sand stuck to your sweaty body and not be able to take a long hot shower. The likelihood of losing the lift stations was high, so we couldn’t use water. The crest was first predicted to be 41 feet. Then 42 feet. We filled millions of sandbags and we won the fight against the river. We were lucky that it didn’t go over 41 feet. Our sandbag dikes were only 42 feet high. We lost a few neighborhoods. But we saved our city. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4896558n
12. The third 500 year flood was in 2010. The crest, which would have terrified us a few years earlier but now seemed old hat, was 36.99. Again, we fought for our city by filling a couple million sandbags and building our miles of dikes. It was hard work, and some of our best workers were not there since the collegees were on spring break at the time and due to overland flooding they could not get back to the city, but we persevered and won.
13. The flood of 2011 is predicted to be higher than that of 2009. Already businesses are making arrangements to have employees bussed to Sandbag Central for 4-hour shifts to fill sandbags on company time. My company is manning the spiders (sandbag machines) on Feb 21st and 28th. I’ve signed up for the 8-12 shift on the 21st. We’ve always won the flood fights before.
Fargo is a great place to live in spite of the sometimes horrid weather and floods. Unemployment is low. Crime is low. Generosity is high. So what’s cool or special about your town?
Actually, these are from just the first half of the 16th century. I am thinking of making another formal gown for my SCA events. My persona is Italian, so I thought I’d make another gown in the style of northern Italy. It is comfortable to wear, and if made in a lighter weight fabric it can be cool as well. But I have some of those already, so maybe I should make a gown from England? These are more ornate, usually made from heavier fabrics so are hotter. If making a style after 1535 a corset and maybe a farthingale should be worn to produce the correct sillouette. But those can be darned hot … I have nothing from Germany. I think the hats are awesome. maybe you could help me choose what I should make. here are some examples to choose from.
1. Front laced, rounded neckline, with contrasting sleeves tied on to the shoulder with chemise pulled thru. approx 1506
2. Slightly higher waist, neckline somewhat more square, contrasting sleeves tied to shoulder w/ chemise pulled thru. approx 1505
3. More of the same style, full length. This style has a rounded bust, so no rigid corset. Skirt is gathered or pleated, the waist a little higher than natural waist. Necklines are edged with contrasting fabric.
4. Neck narrower, lower and squarer, sleeves hugely puffed from shoulder to elbow. Chemise is high necked. Waist raised. c 1535
5. Neck higher and wider, sleeve puff smaller. Waist at natural line, bodice stiff and flat. c 1545.
6. Neck very wide, filled with netted partlet. Waist at natural line and bodice rigid. c 1550.
7. Very early English. High square neck, tight sleeves, bodice is not rigid and hooks closed in center. Early gable hood. 1502
8. Neck is lower, bodice closes in back or on side, over sleeves turned back to show contrasting under sleeve. Bodice is smooth but not quite rigid. Neck is now lined with pearls and gems. Gable hood has lappets folded up. 1520.
9. Neck is even wider. Over sleeve is tight at the shoulder, then widens and is folded back to show embroidered lining. Lower edge of under sleeve is slashed to show chemise. Gable hood has both lappets and tails folded up. Bodice is rigid. 1535.
10. Neck is even wider again. Bodice is very rigid and a farthingale holds the skirts in conical shape. Over sleeve lined in fur, under sleeve slashed to show chemise puffs. Round or French hood. 1545.
11. Two-toned skirt pleated. Sleeves ornately pieces. Bodice laced in black accross a wide white placard. 1520.
12. Classic German look with heavy gold chains and wide collar necklaces, snoods with ornate feathered hats, pieced sleeves with chemise spilling out. 1525.
So which style do you like best? Which should I make?