After announcing to friends, family, and social media earlier this year I’d sold my memoir, many expressed surprise when they learned the publication date was set for almost a year later, in spring ’23. Why such a long lead time, you ask? You’re in good company! I asked that very question myself.
Naively, I thought that after slaving (for years!) writing my book, then landing an agent, and ultimately selling it to a publisher, my travails were over. I could hand over my masterpiece to more capable hands. Freed from responsibility, I would sit back and relax while I waited for the hardcover to show up on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and every other bookstore in the land. Wrong!
Instead, the scenario went more like this. After my contract was signed, sealed, and delivered (which took six weeks), I had to abide by the contractual word count, which was 25,000 words less than my manuscript. Mind you, my first draft at 160,000 words was brutally and mercilessly edited (with the help of a stellar freelance editor) down to 135,000. I edited it yet again to 120,000. The last edit down to 95,000 words happened AFTER my announcement, as I worked from morning till night for four straight months, to maintain the narrative.
Any day I’m expecting a red-lined, crossed-out copy of my manuscript to show up in my email because other published authors have told me this would happen. I won’t be surprised by my editor’s markups, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will feel I delivered as promised.
Mind you, while this has been a tough education, I would gladly suffer the process all over again! I learned more about myself, relationships, and life from writing than I did from all the decades of therapy. Stay tuned for more of my adventure!