It’s a Journey

Um, I think Natalie Lorenzi and I have had somewhat different experiences with the timelines of our debut books.

The publication of Natalie’s FLYING THE DRAGON was pre-poned by nearly a year. That’s right. It moved up from Spring 2013 to Fall 2012. WE’VE GOT A JOB, on the other hand, bounced back and forth between a 2011 and 2012 pub date. Winter 2011? Spring 2012? Guess which won! Yep, it’ll be out in two weeks.

And then, Natalie’s book started making public appearances eight months before its new, earlier pub date.  ARCs! The cover of her publisher’s catalog! ALA!! Let’s see. Eight months before my pub date, my indefatigable editor and I were still doing photo research—with captioning and layout still to come. As a result, my galleys/ARCs appeared, oh, about three months pre-publication. (It was featured prominently, however, across a two-page spread just inside the cover of my publisher’s catalog.)

And, did Natalie say that she completed her edits in four months?! Let’s see again. Kathy and I started revising the manuscript in April 2010. And, we went to press in November 2011. That’s 18 months—over four times as long as Natalie and her editor needed for copy edits.

So, what do all these differences in our editorial and publishing processes mean? I’m certainly NOT blaming my editor. On the contrary. I can only conclude that Natalie’s manuscript was near-perfection when she submitted it. A plus

Mine, on the other hand, needed so much fixing, we had to keep pushing back the timeline. (Uh oh. Something just occurred to me. Do you think that editors share stories with each other about their impossible authors and their impossible manuscripts? No editor may want to work with me. Natalie, on the other hand, will have editors begging her to send them her manuscripts, her early drafts, her napkin-scribbles.)

And, the funniest part? She’s worried about what to wear to her debut. Natalie—gorgeous in even blue jeans and fuzzy slippers!

There is one thing we have in common, though. We’re both proud of our books that are about to take their bows. In fact, we’re proud of all our EMUs Debuts books, no matter how long they take from brilliant idea to book-in-hand and no matter what we wear to their debuts. Take a deep bow, EMUs!

I don't know who she is but she's been helpful on EMU's Debuts!


Filed under Book Promotion, Celebrations, Colleagues, Editing and Revising, Editor, Happiness, Publishers and Editors, Updates on our Books!

6 responses to “It’s a Journey

  1. J. Anderson Coats

    Hurray! Cynthia says we can wear jeans instead of dyed shoes! Now I won’t have to learn to walk in high heels.

    My timeline was somewhere in between yours and Natalie’s. My pub date was moved up, but I never felt under the gun. I guess we all get where we’re going eventually – books on the shelves. Hard to be patient sometimes, though!


  2. Everyone’s publication story is as individual as snowflakes. Some find an agent in their first round of queries, some take years. Some find a publishing home with their first manuscript, others with their fifth. Same goes for length of the editing process, when we get to see our cover, when we get ARCs, whether our books get bumped up or pushed back. For most of the events surrounding my path to publication, I’ve been on the slow train, making every stop and needing lots of repairs along the way. As J. commented though, the important thing is that we eventually reach our destination. I’m happy as a fellow writer and as a reader that you’re now sooooo close to yours! Brava!


  3. Cynthia Levinson

    It’s so good to be reminded, especially by an experienced writer, of the many paths to publication. It’s almost as if we can’t take the ups and downs, the slow and fast train schedules, personally. They’re out of our hands and often have little to do with us and everything to do with our publishers.


  4. Natalie Dias Lorenzi

    Oh, my goodness, Cynthia! Crafting a non-fiction wonder, as you’ve done, is so totally different than makin’ stuff up. Yes, writing a novel takes work, and I did have to do research for certain aspects of the story, but that was NOTHING compared to the exhaustive research that you did for your comprehensive and engaging book. And when you subbed your proposal, it was just that–a proposal. Once you had the contract, the real elbow-grease work had just begun.

    For FLYING THE DRAGON, I started writing it in 2005, and that took about a year. I then signed with Erin at the end of 2006, we pulled it to revise in 2007, and it took me two years (off and on) to revise (er, rewrite) it again and again before it was back on submission at the start of 2010. So it may seem fast once I signed the contract, but the bulk of my work was definitely pre-contract, while yours was post.

    P.S. I SO hope that everyone out there knows that I’m not *really* wearing dyed shoes, a poofy dress and a corsage to my debut. Oy.


  5. Cynthia Levinson

    I wonder if I can find an imagination on Craigslist. It sounds like one of those could save me a lot of time!


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