And Then There’s a Cover and a Catalog Listing

I think several of us may have mentioned that the period between when you get that call saying, “Yes, we’re going to publish your book” and when the book actually appears on a bookstore shelf is composed mostly of long periods of waiting with occasional flurries of intense activity over edits or titles or whatever.  (Yes, I see we have mentioned that. See here and here. And here. Never mind. We’ve all mentioned it.)


And, in most cases, before you got that “yes” there was quite a bit of writing and waiting and writing and waiting while you wrote some more. Years and years of it for most of us. We’re not all patient people when we start but we get better at it perforce.

But it can sometimes feel like nothing much is going on. It can feel a little unreal, like maybe you dreamed that book sale and you will wake up and. . . But then your editor sends you some of the sketches and an enormous envelope with printers proofs arrives. So it’s happening. Not for another year and a half but it is happening.

And then suddenly, there’s quite a bit going on. There’s a cover.

Yep, an actual cover

Yep, an actual cover

This lovely fat envelope of F&Gs arrives. You’ve heard of these. They sound mysterious but they’re just your book, all folded and gathered together, but without the binding. You can pick one up and sit down on the couch and read it to a kid, just like you would a book. It feels pretty real.

Then your sister-in-law calls to say, “How come you didn’t tell me you could order your book already?” Umm, because I didn’t know. But you go out to the HarperCollins website and there it is–a catalog listing. You spend fifteen minutes looking it up on the website of every bookstore in the world and it’s there–every time. And I’m not gonna lie. That feels pretty great.

Creative Commons license Ben Smith via Compfight

Now, somewhere in my files is a list of the ten thousand things I’m supposed to be doing to market this book. . .

mylisa_email_2-2Mylisa Larsen has been telling stories for a long time. This has caused her to get gimlet-eyed looks from her parents, her siblings and, later, her own children when they felt that certain stories had been embellished beyond acceptable limits. She now writes children’s books where her talents for hyperbole are actually rewarded.

She is the author of the picture books, How to Put Your Parents to Bed (Katherine Tegen Books) and If I Were A Kangaroo (Viking.)


Filed under cover art, waiting

11 responses to “And Then There’s a Cover and a Catalog Listing

  1. This is so exciting, Mylisa! I know you’ve waited a long time. Love the cover!!! Congrats on this step in the process 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Luke Reynolds

    You captured the process and the excitement so well! Thank you Mylisa!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Mylisa! I think in the old days they actually did sew the “gathers” of the F&G after they “folded” the book dummy.


  4. How exciting! So glad you have something to cherish while you wait.


  5. Makes it real when you have the dummy of the book in your hands. Congrats!


  6. Janet Fox

    What a fabulous cover, Mylisa!!! Many congratulations!


  7. mariagianferrari

    Hooray, Mylisa!! Congrats! Love that cover art!


  8. Well worth it all, I’d imagine!


  9. Christine Hayes

    Fan-TASTIC cover, Mylisa! Congratulations!!!


  10. Hooray! A cover! And I love it! Seeing the cover really does make things seem more real, doesn’t it?


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