Posted by Véronique Launier in publishing
Tomorrow is Redemption's official release day (Though it has been available for a while in some places).
This journey from the first word I put on my first novel length story I wrote in 2009, until tomorrow when my first novel is officially published has been filled with learning experiences. Some of the lessons are ones that my Grade 11 and 12 English teacher would be happy to see me FINALLY learn... while others, are more about the industry side of things.
I hung out on writing forums, followed writers, agents, and publishers on twitter, and read industry blogs, so obviously, I knew everything I needed to know when it came time to actually publish my book, right?
Well, not exactly.
It was extremely helpful, and I knew, for the most part, what to expect, but I was also clueless in some ways. I didn't want to bother or annoy my publisher with stupid questions whose answers I expected would reveal themselves in due time... so I always simply waited for their instructions.
This is how REDEMPTION finds itself without an acknowledgements page.
Patience may be a virtue, but at some point you have to stop waiting and start asking. I assumed my publisher would simply ask about my acknowledgements once they needed it. It wasn't until I was told that my book had gone to the printers, that I thought: hey, wait a minute! What about my acknowledgements? (I will write a blog post tomorrow to thank all the people who need to be thanked!!)
Another thing I should have asked about much earlier, was my sequel. See, I completely misunderstood my contract (and I have now learned that I should ask for details on deadlines even if somehow they seem crystal clear in my mind when I read the contract). I had most of the synopsis and first three chapters ready for my book (what I understood my first deadline to be for!) And I held on to it, wanting to polish it over and over again. Actually, I planned to find my contract and see when it was due as soon as I got back from vacation because I knew the deadline was fast approaching, but since I hadn't heard a word about it from my publisher, I thought I had nothing to worry about.
So, I was a little surprised when I received an email while at the airport on my last day of vacation asking about my progress on the sequel, which was already past due! PAST DUE!! Oh no!! Good thing I had everything just about ready. I would polish it one more time and send it off.
I came home, obsessed over those chapters, and then pressed SEND. Relief flooded through me. OK, now it was time to get down to business. I would write 1,000 words a day, which should give me a rough draft in 2 months... No problem! I can do this!
But I got a new surprise in my inbox! It wasn't the first 3 chapters that were overdue, it was the entire book!! How did I get things so wrong?? So now, I have been madly drafting, wanting to get the whole story down as fast as possible (don't worry, I will take the time to polish it and make it pretty, after) and I'm feeling like the world's biggest publishing newbie!
So the most important thing I have learned is to ask questions! Even if you are sure you understand, ask for clarifications. I think it would have been better if I had been an annoying author who keeps asking questions, than one who doesn't meet deadlines! That makes me so sad! :(