Thursday, 17 November 2016
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
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Thursday, 7 July 2016
In all honesty the experience wasn't as painful as I had imagined, although it did have its moments. The whole process began with a nerve-wracking wait while a group of individuals I did not know sifted through my manuscript. I did not know these people, we had never met, so I had no way to predict how they would respond to my little creation. How much would they want to change? Was I going to be looking at months of re-writing to bring the manuscript into line with their vision? If so, how much of my own work would be left at the end of the process?
These questions weighed quite heavily on me during this waiting period. Please keep in mind, at this point I was a complete novice when it came to both publishers and editors. This was the first outing for me into the field of traditional publishing. What was I getting into?
On the whole, and with hindsight, I would have to say that, for the most part, my fears were unfounded. My publisher has turned out to be a very pleasant and understanding individual and the editors have been very generous with their comments on my manuscript. Am I lucky in this regard? I don't know. I have no yardstick by which to measure these people or this publishing house. What I can say is that I am, currently very happy here and, if things continue in this vein, I foresee a long and potentially fruitful relationship.
So, what have I actually had to do?
It goes without saying there were a lot of errors within the manuscript. A whole host of typos and grammar issues were highlighted and seeing all of that red pen across my manuscript was, admittedly, a little discouraging at first. Ultimately though, these were all elements that could be fixed quickly with very little fuss.
One thing I did not expect however, was the language issues. I am an Englishman writing in my own language as you would expect. My publisher is American. It never occurred to me that our two countries would perceive and use the same language so differently. Words that I considered common use were virtually unheard of across the pond while their alternatives I considered at times to be "clunky" and ugly. To say there were a lot of discussions between us on this issue would be an understatement. Ultimately however, this is the core of this little article.
I honestly feel I am fortunate to have the relationship with my publisher that I currently enjoy. We have been able to rationally, and at times, even with humour, discuss the numerous vocabulary choices within my manuscript. I have had to recognise that my publisher was trying to ensure my work would be accessible to the widest audience possible. Similarly my publisher was more than willing to accept my need to retain what I believed to be a level of artistic integrity to my work. Somewhere during the course of our numerous conversations I honestly feel a good compromise was reached. In the end I would estimate approximately seventy-five percent of the editors suggestions were taken on board. Of the remaining twenty-five percent I think there was an even split between elements I insisted remained unchanged and elements where I accepted the need for change but was unhappy with the alternative suggested so created a third, entirely new option.
At the end of the entire process, I firmly believe that I have a vastly improved manuscript and, most importantly, one which I am happy to attach my name to when it is brought before the public.
I am not sure this would have been possible without the relationship I have garnered with my publisher. I now find myself in the position of really looking forward to the official release date for my novel on November 15th 2016.
Friday, 13 May 2016