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The Long Road of Publishing

Do you ever wonder why it takes so long for a novel to hit the market after the author finishes writing?

One of my favorite authors, Diana Gabaldon, answers this question on her BLOG. She describes the lengthy editing and marketing process involved with her eighth novel in the Outlander series, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (I can’t wait!) I just finished her novel The Scottish Prisoner and loved it (see my review HERE).

Omnific Publishing is much smaller than Random House but I’ve marveled at the lengthy process from the inside. I wrote Streamline in 2007 when it was over 200,000 words (gulp). I edited the story in 2010 to see if I could get it to a place where it might be publishable. In 2011 I edited it some more to get it down to 160,000 words.

Then I sent a query letter to Emma Taylor, Acquisitions Editor for Omnific, and she gave Streamline the thumbs up for publication. That started the arduous work with my lovely developmental editor, Jessica Royer Ocken. We decided to go from third-person-omniscient to third-person-limited, which involved a LOT of rewriting on my part. We involved some Navy experts and a native Spanish speaker to increase the authenticity. We also changed the title to reflect Leo and Audrey’s efficient glide through the resistance of their lives.

Jessica is the master of tightening my word diarrhea and we got the manuscript down to 129,000 words (longer than your average YA novel but still preserving the integrity of the murder mystery). My little baby’s next stop was with the managing editor Kathy Teel who praised our diligent work. The copy editor Coreen Montagna now holds the manuscript as we wait for the cover design.

Kayla Watson is the marketing associate for Streamline. We’re planning a launch party as well as a blog tour, and she’s put together a fantastic video trailer. The novel that started in 2007 is slated for release on 3-27-12!

When it’s all on the line, STREAMLINE.

14 thoughts on “The Long Road of Publishing”

  1. Congratulations! It amazes me when an editor and writer can whittle a book from 160,000 to 129,000! It's a marvel of a feat! Even from 200,000 to 160,000 blows me away!My first book, I brought it from 130,000 to 90,000. I still need to tighten things. We'll see!Awesome post!

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  2. Thank you, Jack! 90K words is much more in line with the industry standard–way to go! How have you tightened things so far? We used more contractions and eliminated unnecessary words like \”that\”. Keeping to one POV for each chapter or section also knocked out extraneous information. Editors are so amazing, huh?

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  3. It sounds like you've done a wonderful job of streamlining STREAMLINE. 🙂 It's no easy feat cutting words without losing valuable nuggets of information needed to convey a story. Launch day is just around the corner too! Congrats!

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  4. Miranda, this is my third time going through the process and I'm still surprised by how long it takes. There are definitely points where I want to throw my hands up in frustration and holler \”I give up!\”Cherie, what a beautiful observation about streamlining Streamline! Ha ha, I love it.

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