Cuts & Bruises: Publishing Update #2

Time for another update! In case you’re new here, I’m planning to write at least monthly updates in the run-up to the launch of my debut novel, “Cuts & Bruises” next year. It’s been a very exciting journey so far (and will continue to be so), but also quite stressful. I want to write a bit here about where we are right now, but also some thoughts about how I’m feeling during this process.

The Book Cover is Done!

First and foremost, I am thrilled to say we have a book cover design! I can’t share it yet, of course, but it is so perfect and so gorgeous. I cannot wait to show it off. I was legitimately brought nearly to tears when I first saw it, it’s everything I could’ve hoped for. I offered some suggestions as well, though, to change up a few things which were quickly implemented. Ever since, I’ve been dreaming of seeing the book fully printed and bound with that image upon it. It’s going to be magical!

The Second Proof

The next big step in the publishing process is the second proof (a.k.a version) of the manuscript. So, recently that has been my sole focus and has been keeping me very busy. It came absolutely covered in comments! I’ve written another blog all about learning to accept criticism (Being Able to Take Criticism is a Life Skill), so the amount of comments and what they entailed hasn’t bothered me in the slightest. I understand that it’s all for the greater good in the end, to make the project the best it can possibly be. (I’ve also gotten some comments of praise, which is very welcome!)

But if I can be frank for a moment (and hey, it’s my blog), I was a bit confused why the second editor had so much more to say than the first. The majority of the comments and fixes on my first proof related to my usage of certain words, some rephrasing here and there. Ultimately, it was a very minor edit. I expected the second round of editing to require even less work, not tenfold more! I don’t know if this is a fault of the first editor or how things actually go in the publishing industry, but it just felt a bit backwards to me. It also means, now that I’m a mere six months or so from publishing, that I have much less time with this phase of editing than I did with the first, and I feel quite under pressure. To be fair, the publisher hasn’t given me a deadline (yet), but I feel like ASAP is the name of the game here. Also, I don’t mean to badmouth anyone by saying any of that, I just wanted to get it off my chest.

The notes I have to work through vary from small word-specific notes to wider, structure-specific notes. Contrary to what you might expect, I am actually so glad to have an editor who could spot so many issues and mistakes that I didn’t notice. They have pointed out a number of inconsistencies for which I am very grateful. I care about this novel so, so much, and want to publish the best possible version of it. It just goes to show that the editor isn’t there to demean your work; they’re there to help it improve.

I think I’ll write another post later with some things I’ve learnt from working with an editor like this. I’m trying to get through this proof in stages, tackling the “small” notes first, before going in and tackling the larger notes about scenes and structure and such. I think it’s important to go through and pinpoint what the “big” notes are in case they happen to overlap or something, and then work on them together. Working in “phases” also gives me a sense of progress, instead of getting stuck on note after note, with the end seemingly forever away.

Anyway, that’s more or less it for now! 2022 is going to be BUSY, friends. I hope you’ll stay tuned for the rest of the journey. I just keep imagining holding my printed novel in my hands, that keeps me going.

Thank you for being here, and for all your support.

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