Forty weeks after the second day of the new year
Author has finished that quick read she has told you about thirty-eight weeks after the second day of the new year. She read through the entire manuscript and has finally managed to get that feel for it as a whole that she wanted, to see it as a landscape stretching before her in her mind.
As for how she did the read, she told you she would decide between reading the Word file she’s been working on, reading the manuscript in Indesign, or reading it as an ebook. Well, she can tell you she ended up choosing to do the read in an ebook format. The Word document felt too much like a work file—that’s what she has worked on since the very first word of this story that she wrote, and she wanted the read to feel less like a scrutiny where she might stop on additional changes, and more like, well, reading a book. An Indesign file would be too much like a print book, too structured, Author thought, for what she wanted—she wanted a flowing read, to just look at the story from beginning to end, without taking notice of layouts. Both easier said than done, of course, since Author always views her work with a critical eye. Which is why the ebook was the best way to go here. The unstructured flow of words on the screen—that’s how she read, in unformatted form, as a very preliminary ebook simulation—allowed her to do as close to a reader’s read as is possible for her.
And so the quick read is done, but you should know that Author doesn’t have that “Yes, that’s it” feeling. Not quite yet. By now you know Author takes her writing seriously, so you’ll understand she’s not willing to let some things she came across go. Not many at this point, but still. She has made note of them, and will have a look at them now. As soon as she finishes writing this post, in fact. And in the meantime, Sister will also read the manuscript. This is, as far as Author is concerned, part of the work process. Sister is, after all, Author’s sister. And don’t think that because she is her sister her critique will be on the biased kind side. No, she’ll say what she really thinks. After all, she is also ManaSis, and the one who will be investing the effort, from the moment this book is ready to come out, to make it known to you, its readers.
By the way, taking a detour here for a moment, since these are, after all, the closer-to-the-end-than-to-the-beginning steps of Author’s work on her next book for you: she can tell you that the cover for the book is already at work, has been for a while, so Author and Sister are giving it its share of their attention, too. Preparing the cover for the second book in a series, when you might want a connection between the books, perhaps a shared theme, is challenging, and it’s something you can’t just leave for your cover designer to decide on. No one knows your book as you do, and you can—in fact, you must—be part of the creative process. You need to help come up with ideas about what the cover should include. These ideas might end up not being used, but they could trigger new ideas and associations in your cover designer’s mind. Of course, as you already know, for Author&Sister it is Sister who runs the cover preparation process, and Author only sees it in the late stages. And so while they have discussed the cover and Author has raised an idea—and no, it is not likely to be used—Author has so far not seen any of the samples sent by the cover designer. And there have been quite a few, Sister has been on it for weeks already in a hands-on process, as she always is. Author admits she can’t wait to see what will come out of it. Sister is with images as Author is with words, and Author tends to be pleasantly being surprised by Sister’s choices. If you’ve seen their twitter accounts, you know what she means.
As for what’s next, Author is already gearing up for the more technical steps that need to be completed toward publication, the preparation of the book’s selected publication formats, the print book and the ebook. As she did with the first book in the series, Oracle’s Hunt, Author will start with the print format with its complex fixed layout that requires thorough typesetting and in the process tends to invite additional scrutiny of the words.
Which brings Author and Sister to their tip for you this week: this is a point in your work when the creative steps on your path to publication—writing, editing, and reviewing—make way for the more technical steps. You might think that the important part of your work is behind you, that what you’re doing now isn’t as crucial. That’s not the case. You might start to feel impatient because now that your manuscript, its content, is ready, you want to cut the preparations short and get to the part you’ve been waiting for, having your book out there for everyone to see. Don’t. What’s coming now isn’t the less important part, it’s not a less creative and therefore less interesting, perhaps, part of the work that you can decide you don’t want to do, and it’s not something you can skim through. It needs to be given the same attention you gave your work so far. So once again, be patient. This is the last stretch of the road, your book will be out there soon enough.