Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Are We There Yet? The Journey to Publication


When I decided to write children’s books, I had no idea what went on in the background in terms of getting a book onto a shelf, but I knew that I was eager to find out! One reason for my creating this blog was to be able to share the mysterious, behind-the-scenes workings of getting published. People have been asking me about how one goes about becoming an author and/or what’s happening with my book. I can’t speak for all authors, because I’m sure that no one’s experience is exactly the same, but here is a short timeline and update on my journey.

This whole adventure began over five years ago. I got the idea to write a book in the fall of 2005. I researched how to write children’s books and then how to get them published. I started brainstorming ideas, organizing them and about three months later I actually got busy with the fun part--writing!

I worked diligently on the story for four months. I did almost nothing else. The laundry piled up, I served lots of leftovers for dinner and I forgot to floss (Just kidding, I would never forget to floss!) Once I felt that my first draft was finished, I asked other writers, teachers and kids if they would be willing to read my work and give me feedback. That was probably one of the most exciting steps of the process. I loved hearing what people had to say about my writing, good, bad and everything in between. Of course it was nice to get positive feedback, but I also really appreciated the critical comments because those helped me to tighten up my writing, confirm factual information and strengthen the story.

Once I was satisfied with what I had, I began to submit my manuscript to different publishing houses. There was a lot of waiting involved in this step. Since “simultaneous” or “multiple” submissions are either not allowed or at the very least frowned upon, I could only send my manuscript to one publisher at a time and then had to wait to hear back from them. One place held on to it for six months! That was a really good test of my patience. In the end, I landed in the perfect place; exactly the right home for me and my books.

One year ago, I signed a contract with Yaldah Publishing. Over the course of the past twelve months, my manuscript was handed over to Leslie Martin, my editor, who not only helped me with my many, many “comma issues” (amongst others!) but who also helped fine-tune my story and make it even better.

So that brings us to where we are now. Currently, my manuscript is being sent to various “Advance Readers” who have agreed to read it and write a “blurb” or a review about it if they liked it. (And so far they all have liked it! I’ve received three wonderful blurbs already!) It’s going out to rabbis, educators, librarians and other authors. Soon the cover art will be done and a large number of Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) of the book will go out to even more readers and reviewers. (Ever wondered how those quotes get on the back of the book? Now you know!)

In the meantime, I’m working on Book #2 of the series, and I’m busy making connections, sharing, promoting, marketing and getting the word out about my book which should be making its debut in March. I even joined Twitter yesterday. (I’m not really sure what it’s all about, but I’m going with my publisher’s advice.) If you are a Twitter-er (?!), I would love it if you’d “follow” me (@DoriWeinstein). If you’re on Facebook, please join me by clicking the “like” button on my author page (Dori Weinstein) for more progress updates and reviews. And of course, every now and then, I’m here writing on my blog. You can “follow” me here as well, or at least say “hi” and let me know you've visited.

So there you have it; the road to publication from the starting point until now. There have been many pit-stops, off-road distractions and requests for directions along the way. We aren't there yet, but I am completely enjoying the trip as I head toward my final destination. Thanks for sharing the ride with me!

6 comments:

  1. This is so exciting!!!

    Sheryl Sue

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  2. I'm a new follower!!!! Hi *waves* your blog is fantastic, I love the colors, so vibrant and inviting!

    What an amazing story to publishing! I'm still at the stage of revision. I have written two YA novels and I'm about to dive into NaNoWrimo (National Novel Writing Month - for those who don't know) and write my third. Revisions are where I get stuck so I'll be hard at work busting those out!!

    Nice meeting you!

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  3. Hi Jen,

    Welcome to my blog and thanks for the comments!

    Good luck with the revisions and novel #3. What are you writing about?

    Dori

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  4. dori, hi! your blog is *such* a find! thank you for all of the insight. you're inspiring to this hopeful writer! :)

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  5. Congratulations on your ARC! Holding your first book in your hands is one of the greatest highs in publishing. You did everything right--found yourself an underserved niche, then targeted a small publisher where you can get real attention and support. This is a great success story!

    Slow blogging rules!

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  6. Thanks, Anne and Galit. It's great to have you both here!

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