If you have written a manuscript wherein you created original characters, plot development, and theme, that manuscript belongs to you and should be cited in a book by the copyright symbol. Should you require more protection, you can register that copyright.
However, in most circles, copyright is respected. Even an editor cannot significantly change the nature of your manuscript without written permission. An editor DOESN’T rewrite material. If you are thinking of turning your first draft into a publishing company, let me stop you in your tracks. You should turn in your BEST draft, knowing that there is still work to be done.
Poetry gets very tricky. Every word, every punctuation mark is crucial and fragile. To present anything but your best is to turn it over to a subjective microscope whereby your true meaning may or may not be expressed. If you are writing poetry without knowledge of rhyme or rhythm, Dr. Seuss is a great way to get started. Poetry for children should follow the rules; adults can function with more abstract language.
An editor should honor your style and try to maintain your syntax, but sometimes there are alternative ways to accomplish the same goal. Keep your eyes wide open.
Where is your book? The most honest answer involves a tidy arrangement of piles and piles of manuscripts. You’re in there somewhere! So how do you move to the top?
- The top of the pile often depends on genre. If I’m looking for diversification in my catalogue, I’m looking for something different. Are you different? How so?
- The top of the pile often depends on the rules. Did you read our website? Are you turning in a manuscript that meets our minimum requirements? Unreadable manuscripts are often tossed–they don’t make it to the top of the pile.
- Moving to the top involves a series of rewrites according to an editor’s direction. Even an editor gets tired of fixing the same old comma splice over and over again, so to speed up the editing process, make sure your copy is as clean as it can be.
- Editors get busy. One novel can preoccupy months of the writing process. Be prepared for delays along the way.
- If you have spent two years writing a children’s book, don’t expect an illustrator to produce visuals overnight. Technically, if it took you two years, give the illustrator two years. Most illustrators work faster than that, but remember they are trying to make a living. Perhaps they have more than one job in the works. The final tweaking can be complicated.
- Layout and typesetting also take time. It’s easy for a book to get caught up in production and design. Remember, all you started with was a manuscript, and all you wish for is a book.
Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day. The featured image says it all.
Publishing Infographic: How A Book is Born
by Madeleine Crum
If you put in about the same effort I did, you are in the try-it-again-next-year club! I haven’t succeeded yet, but I do get closer every year.
But isn’t that what writing is really about? All the time and effort is for us. It makes us a better person, we’ve (sort of) created something, and we emerge changed for the good. Writing builds character and a smug type of inner satisfaction, but the bottom line is we do it for ourselves.
Any of us who have done our time in the writing world, know that effort and willingness are certainly essentials in that world. We also know that even though the creation of the written expression is a vital component to writing, we also know that rules apply and we don’t always get it right the first time.
And then come the rewrites–tedious and meticulous rewrites. What is the exact right verb in this sentence? We write so we can rewrite and rewrite.
And that, in a nut shell, is the writing process, unless, of course, you are rich and famous.
Then your masterpiece moves quickly through the system and voilá the New York Times Best Seller List
The rest of us go round and round until we find the magic in our NaMoWriMo moment.
Check out Brenda Hodnett’s new romance, Blemished Beauty. #crystalpubs2014
Available at Sheridan Stationery in Sheridan, Wyoming.
If you’re an animal lover, what better way to enjoy the holidays than giving back to those cuddle balls that provide so much love in our lives? #crystalpubs2014
All proceeds from Sparkles goes to animal rescue. We have donated $1000 to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and we are now working on a $1000 donation to Big Bones Canine Rescue in Windsor, Colorado. If you have a rescue, you’d like us to consider next, please contact us.