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Talko Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Okay so nothing happened that changed anything this week, but a lot of things are happening. Got it? I'll explain. First off, this baby finally came:

It may shock you to realize how much work I put into editing my manuscript for the publisher when I hadn't actually signed the contract (also: hadn't received a dime), but it's okay. Contracts, especially from bigger publishers, take lots of time because lawyers charge by the hour and bigger companies have more to lose. So this is standard procedure. I sweated blood over the last couple months to make this book better for them not because I was worried they'd drop me or something (though frankly, every debut author has this fear deep down), but because I trusted my agent and my editors and my publisher enough to know this was all going through.

That being said, signing the contract was a huge relief and getting paid will be pretty nice.

(I'll explain how advances and stuff work in another post.)

As a subtext, it was worth noting a section of the contract was struck out, namely the part saying I would deliver the revised manuscript by such-and-such date. Translation: what I turned in a couple weeks ago was acceptable to the level that only copy-edits (style, grammar, punctuation, typos) are left. My edits are good to go. **wipes sweat off brow** Copy edits will arrive in a few weeks. Good news: They will come at a time best for my schedule. Bad news: Copy edits are waaaaaaay more complicated than they sound. Fun news: The book is done enough that the marketing team at the publisher is going through it. So far they love it (yay!), but from other authors I know this means soon there will be copies going out for cover blurbs, and I will be having talks with a publicist at some point. These were also things I don't think could really start happening until the contract was signed. Meanwhile I have lovely things to focus on. The Swankies (debut authors of 2017) have an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) sharing network, and I got my first, Frostblood, this past week. I'll be reviewing it on Goodreads soon, but I'll say now that I liked it, it was easy to read, and I look forward to buying my (soon-to-be) 12 year-old a copy when it comes out. It safe and appropriate for kids that young (many YA books are not). Otherwise I am editing (with a green pen) a chapter book written by the daughter of a friend. She's young, but she's got real talent. I only wish I could help her faster, but it takes focus for more than 5 minutes, which has been hard to find lately. Beta reading - which I am doing for another Swanky right now, and the book is sooooo good so far - is easier to do in small snatches, as was reading Frostblood. Also coming up soon I will be heavy-beta reading the manuscript of a USNA classmate. Looking forward to that. Been writing bits for my work in progress (writer slang is WIP) and more on what I hope will be a sequel to this book that's being published. Need to focus on the latter, probably, though the other one is good for preventing fatigue. Getting ready to teach my first class at the local writing center, too! (Can you see why I'm glad copy edits aren't coming for a few more weeks?) So that's what I meant by nothing has happened, but things are happening.

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