Monday, May 20, 2013

Author Eric Trant - After Your Manuscript is Accepted

Today I’m welcoming friend and fellow author, Eric Trant.

His latest book, Wink, is a powerful and moving tale. Eric sent me a copy to read, and while it’s not my usual genre, the story has been riveting and my heart goes out to the main character, a boy named Marty.

Take it away, Eric!

So your book, or your short story, or your poem was accepted. Now what?

First off, I will assume you read L. Diane's Book How to Publish and Promote Your Book NOW! She tells you everything you need to know about promotion, and spends a great deal of time discussing self-publishing.

I also will assume you know how to query. If not, check out The QQQE by Matthew MacNish. I bet you already have that link, because you are a smart and astute writer, aren't you.

I will further assume you know how to seek out agents and publishers. If not, try Agent Query, and don't forget to research the publishers of your favorite authors. For instance, I found WiDo Publishing through my friend Summer Ross. So don't forget to network, and be nice to your fellow bloggers and writers.

What I want to discuss is that gray area between acceptance and publication. We skip that process in most of our writerly discussions, and yet this is the birth of your story! Your first draft is foreplay before you reach the real action. Revisions are the act of creation, those months of pounding away at your computer, sweating, grunting, suffering through fits of agony and ecstasy, those months of saying to people, "I'm trying to write a story." When that part's over, when the seed is planted -- and that's the fun part, isn't it, all those months of trying -- now comes the gestation period where you query and wait, query and wait.

Then that letter comes and your water breaks and in walks your editor to help you bring your baby into this world! But these labor pains don't last a few hours. Nope, Dear Writer, these pains last weeks and months.

Dear Editor will first say to you: "Give me a few days to read your story."

She will read it and send back her suggestions. These will consist of modifying chapter lengths, enhancing scenes, adding snappier segues, cutting or adding the book to a specified length, along with making some high-level formatting changes. No big deal.

"That was easy!" Those are your first thoughts, but this is only the initial contraction, my friend. You modify as requested, slap your hands together and do that same thing you did after the first draft, after the first and second and fifteenth revisions, after that acceptance letter and now after your editor is finished with your book. You lean back in your writer's chair, drink a beer or a glass of wine or a shot of Jack, and you tell your friends and family you're finished with your book.

Then comes the second wave of contractions. These arrive in the form of an email from Dear Editor. You open the draft to see a bloody mess of red-lettered edits, comments, and on every page and every paragraph there is something to be edited! These hurt, but you suffer through them, and at the end you do that thing again, have your drink, and you tell your friends and family that you're finished with your book.

Then comes the third wave of contractions. You suffer. You edit. After two more rounds of this Dear Editor finally says to you, "Okay, that looks good!"

You have your drink, and you tell your friends and family you're finished with your book, finally, that it is ready to be published! You cut the cord and prepare to reap the benefits of being a published author.

Then you get a note from someone claiming to be in layout. A Layout Editor? Surely they don't require edits. Do they?

Yes, they do. Amid the afterbirth of your novel with the book wailing in the background your Layout Editor asks you to modify your chapter headings. She asks that you refrain from using so much profanity. She requests that you rename a couple of characters, tone down a scene so it can be marketed as Young Adult, please rewrite your forward and afterward, and by the way, can you write the cover description? And we need a few more titles to choose from, because A Day in the Life of Someone More Interesting is too long. Can you send me an author picture? I need two, actually, and how does this cover art look?

You thought you were finished, and you're still sore and throbbing from the pain inflicted by Dear Editor, but you soldier through it, and when you receive those author copies in the mail, ten of them tightly bound and God Almighty are they beautiful! When you receive them you say to your friends and family, "There! I'm finished!"

You say that because, apparently, you did not read L. Diane Wolfe's book on promotion.

- Eric

Eric W. Trant is a published author of several short stories and the novels Out of the Great Black Nothing and Wink from WiDo Publishing, out now! Check Wink out on Amazon.

See more of Eric's work at his site, or order directly from Amazon or wherever books are sold.

38 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

A very apt comparison with childbirth here! And very true that we're never *really* finished with a book. Congratulation on Wink!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Thanks Eric for this insightful post and congratulations on getting your book out there.

Em-Musing said...

Great post! Great analogy! And congrats on Wink!

Eric W. Trant said...

Thank you, Diane, for the post and the read! I hope you enjoyed reading Wink as much as I enjoyed writing it.

- Eric

randi lee said...

Eric--you're such an interesting individual! Glad I stopped by and read this :D

Jennifer Shirk said...

Ha! Love that analogy!

Julie Luek said...

Childbirth-- never an analogy to be used or taken lightly.. yeesh.

Great tips and insights-- thank you for sharing your learning curve with us!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Oh yeah, acceptance is just the first step, not the last.

Karen Walker said...

Yup yup yup - very astute summary of the process. And lots of luck with Wink, Eric. Hi, Diane

YVONNE LEWIS: said...

Congrats on the book Eric it's excellent.

Yvonne.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Hilarious, but painfully true - even for those of us who decide to self-publish. I think I "final" edited my book at least four times, and then changed the back cover blurb ten times, oh - and went back and forth with my cover artist and my format-helper aka my awesome husband.

Best wishes on all your writing!

Eric W. Trant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric W. Trant said...

Yes, I hope I did not take the childbirth too lightly for the mothers on here!

There is a video floating around about two guys who are subjected to electrode simulation of childbirth. Only one of them made it, and neither of them had to force a watermelon through a hole the size of their thumb, nor were they required to pull their bottom lip over the top of their head.

- Eric

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Eric. Interesting post. Thanks for sharing the links. I look forward to checking them out.

Laura Marcella said...

From what I observe and hear from my siblings and friends who have kids, I'd compare the entire writing process–from idea to promotion after publication–to the toddler years: long, arduous, frustrating, but with moments of excitement, joy, and laughter that make it all worth it.

Congrats on your novel, Eric!!

Summer Ross said...

Eric- that was a truly amazing post. Diane- thank you for hosting him. I will be sharing this.

Johanna Garth said...

This post gives such a great sense of perspective. It's never really done, just like raising a kid.

Southpaw said...

Ye gads, man! That sounds exhausting.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Eric, looks like you are a hit today!

Morgan said...

Oh my gosh... LOVE Eric's post! So fantastic. And so spot on. Love the reality shown here ;-)

M Pax said...

Best of luck with Wink, Eric!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Yep, that completely mirrors my experience - just when you think there can't possibly be anything else to change, here's another email! Congratulations on Wink.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I laughed throughout Eric's description of the process. Selling the book is just the beginning. Going to check out Wink.

Carol Kilgore said...

Excellent! It never ends. I'll have to check out your book. Good to meet you.

Hi, Diane!

Jemi Fraser said...

Love that last line!!! It's never really over, is it? But that's part of the fun :) Great post!

Tammy Theriault said...

Oh my...makes me not want to give birth to book babies!

Donna Hole said...

I need a drink after all that. I exhausted!

......dhole

Medeia Sharif said...

I plan on reading Diane's book.

It's never over. :)

LD Masterson said...

This was great. I didn't know about the layout editor but at least I knew typing The End was far from the end.

Sandy said...

Loved your comparison to water breaking and delivering a baby, lol. Continuing to visit, made my way through the road trip link and now hitting more on the reflections linky, cept going to the most current blog post.
Blogging After A-Z

michelle said...

Great post!
I'm reading L.Diane's book at the moment (and it feels like the childbirth process LOL there's soooooo much to consider.... it's exhausting!) My poor brain is swirling at the moment. It's a book that needs to be digested bit by bit...

Good luck Eric! Wink sounds very interesting.

Writer In Transit

Stephen Tremp said...

Congrats! to Eric and best wishes for him and his success!

Jai Joshi said...

That labour is excruciating but so worth it because you have a brand new baby at the end of it!

Congrats on Wink, Eric! I'm really excited for you.

Jai

Jo said...

Best wishes for success. I always naively assumed one wrote a book and found a publisher and that was it. I have learned so much about it since I became a blogger.

JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

Romance Book Haven said...

Thanks Eric for this insightful post. Congratulations on getting your book out there.

Nas

Dana said...

Wonderful post! Congrats to Eric. :)

Thanks for dropping by my blog for the blitz. You all made my day!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, L.Diane,

Thanks for featuring Eric.... What an amusing and ALL SO REAL post...

Nice to know this before my plunge into publication, whenever that is. LOL.

Eric. Congrats on your newest book!

Michael Di Gesu said...
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