It’s taken me awhile to unwind from Sunday. It was a pretty amazing day. I got to meet some interesting people, see some of my favourite authors and, I even had the chance to meet the children’s book editor who originally accepted my story for publication and the editor who worked on the book with me. They were nice and friendly and SO young that when I was first approached by them I honestly thought they were a couple of high school kids! No kidding. I’ve been told that’s a common misconception once you reach a “certain age.” Perhaps that is the case although I think somewhere in the back of my mind I have a preconceived idea about editors being older— shall I say– “more seasoned.” So much for preconceived ideas!! They apparently recognized me from the author photo I’d sent in for the book. Well, at least I look like the photo I submitted. I guess that’s saying something.
I ran into Syr Ruus a few times and we chatted a bit. It was her first time at Word on the Street also. I would have liked to have heard her read but I was listening to someone else at the time. Did I mention how nice she is? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I did in an earlier post. I went to the Nimbus table and saw the poster for my book. Pretty cool! There was a lot to take in and I know I didn’t get the chance to see everything. We were there for about four hours and by the time we left I was beat!
We started out early that day because it is a fairly long drive into the city. We went as far as our son’s apartment in Bedford and from there he drove us to the Cunard Centre. I can honestly say I was more frightened by my son’s “city driving” than I was doing the reading. No kidding! City drivers are so aggressive. I guess they need to be but… But wow! Give me a country road any day.
My reading went well and I didn’t have any nerves at all, especially once I saw where I’d be reading and we had a chance to sit in on a reading or two. Since WOTS is a two hour drive from East Dalhousie I knew there wouldn’t be anyone from home there except for my husband, but that was fine. I knew most of the people who came to hear me read, a few I didn’t but that didn’t bother me. Several times through the course of the reading I saw folks standing just outside the reading area listening in. I think I said in an earlier post I was under no illusions as to how many people would show up to hear me read, also there were five other readings going on at the same time in various places and let’s face it, no one knows me. My book isn’t even out yet. I had a few questions thrown at me afterwards which I handle as best I could. I’m not as a rule used to answering questions about writing, other than “When’s your book coming out?” and “When’s the book launch?” It was good practice and one that I felt was a valuable learning experience. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go.
So what’s next? Time to relax and wait for the book launch day!
Posted by Laura Best on September 29, 2009
So what’s at the Fort Point Museum in Lahave you might ask? This was the place Sry Ruus held the book launch for her new novel, Lovesongs Of Emmanuel Taggart. (Breakwater Books)
We didn’t arrive on time. I knew we wouldn’t. I had made a previous commitment to be someplace else not knowing at the time that the launch was scheduled for that day, so we missed Syr’s reading. We were a bit disappointed but I suppose in some ways we were lucky to be there at all. We left home that afternoon with just a vague idea of where we were headed. Instead of going a route that was familiar to us my husband decided it would be a good time to go the back way and we ended up on the wrong side of the Lahave River with no idea where The Fort Point Museum was. When my husband saw the Lahave Ferry docked he decided this was a good time to stop and ask directions. That was when we learned that the museum was just across the river. Talk about luck! We could actually see the museum from where we were and luckily the ferry was about to take off. It’s just a five minute trip across so we’d knew we’d make it in time.
I hadn’t met Syr before even though she and I both had work in the same Christmas anthology last year and both attended the launch. (That was a busy day with about thirteen of us and nearly impossible to meet all the authors there.) So, we’d never actually met. Still, I wanted to attend her launch because I was excited for her and being a writer myself I feel it’s important to support our local talent.
Syr and her daughter put together a lovely lunch and the cake was decorated exactly like the cover of her book. It was beautiful. Of course they couldn’t cut on it. But they had another one there for that purpose. I had a chat with Syr and she signed my book. She seems like such a very nice lady. I wish her all the best with her novel.
Posted by Laura Best on September 21, 2009
A quick stop into the local book store this evening was quite an emotional thing for me. I had heard from a friend that my book was mentioned in Atlantic Books Today— a free publication which reviews some of the books published in Atlantic Canada. She mentioned that there was a review there but I figured since the book isn’t out yet that it was just a blurb about it— but she was right. There it was, someone writing about my book, someone who had already read it. You see there’s this thing called advanced reading copies that get sent out to various sales reps and reviewers before the book even comes out. (I really have a lot to learn about all this.) This good news is the review was a good one!!! I was on cloud nine. Sure is great to have someone say something nice about something you’ve written, I mean someone who doesn’t know you. (If you know what I mean.)
My husband and I stood in the bookstore both reading the review, wondering if we should snap up all the free copies for family members. But I guess that would kind of defeat the purpose of having it out there in the first place if I took all the copies home… I did take two, however…the ones we were reading. Atlantic Books Today even mentions that the launch is at the East Dalhousie Community Centre on Oct 25th , which seemed really neat, too. It almost feels as though this book is not just mine but the community’s as well.
I am constantly amazed at this whole process. All I can say is Wow!!
Posted by Laura Best on September 19, 2009
I think I’m safe in saying that the publishing industry is the slowest moving business there is. If there’s anything out there that moves any slower please let me know. I’d love to hear about it.
SO, how slow is the publishing business, you might ask?
A year ago I sent out a synopsis and sample chapters to a publisher I’d dealt with in the past. I don’t like to appear impatient so I’m usually content to wait for word to come.—would they like to read the whole manuscript or do they want to pass. My patience really doesn’t grow thin because I’ve been through this so many times that I know it doesn’t help to impatient. But now that all the work is done on my novel I can concentrate on some of my other submissions. A year seems extremely long for a synopsis to be gone although I believe I did wait eight months to receive word that Nimbus wanted to read the entire manuscript for “Bitter, Sweet.”
Today I decided that I’ve waited long enough. I sent a quick email off to the editor asking if my submission is still under consideration and I also asked how they would feel if I sent out queries to a few other publishing houses since I hadn’t mentioned in my initial query that it was a multiple submission. Now of course I know I’m free to send queries off to other publishing houses (it is my work after all) but I figured it couldn’t hurt them knowing this. Perhaps that way they’ll let me know one way or the other— sooner rather than later.
I promptly received an apology from the editor telling me that he’d look into it and that I was free to send it to other publishing houses because it was their fault for taking so long. So a day off work today has proven to be very productive for me. I’m going to do up a proposal for a few other publishing houses sometime this week. At least now I’m moving forward again!
Posted by Laura Best on September 10, 2009
The layout file for Bitter, Sweet arrived earlier this week with a request that I have a list of any errors or changes I want in the text back to them by Friday. Normally that wouldn’t be a big deal— we’re not talking about a full length novel here–but since I work during the day I’ve been a bit pressed for time.
For anyone who hasn’t seen one before, a layout file is basically a pdf file of the book pages, the way they will appear in the book, complete with dedication, acknowledgments, and a whole page of other necessary things like photo credit, the copyright, book cover designer, those sorts of things. Since the printing on the layout file is so large I found it much easier to read and to find little errors that didn’t get picked up before.
Our brains are a curious thing for we tend to see what we think is there instead of what is actually there. Proofreading my novel several times made this all too clear. Of course this was the first time I actually read it word for word, out loud, to make sure everything was in its place. Hope we (my editor will be giving it a final look through as well) didn’t miss anything but I can list a good many books where I found mistakes and I must say I was pretty forgiving. Hopefully if we’ve missed something my readers will also be forgiving.
Also today, the final cover (front and back) came for my approval. Sure looked strange seeing my face on the back cover. I really like the synopsis they put together, I feel as though it really captures the essence of the book
Guess it’s all coming together now. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure it’s not a dream.
Posted by Laura Best on September 4, 2009