Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Approving Galleys for STAINED GLASS SUMMER

on December 19, 2011

The galleys for STAINED GLASS SUMMER are approved! When Musa accepted STAINED GLASS SUMMER, I had a lot of anxiety.  It reminded me of when I’ve bought my houses. The offer is accepted but then there is all the back and forth where things can get “sticky.” I’m happy to say things never got sticky at Musa!

First of all, and most important, as a writer at Musa, I felt like my voice was heard. My story was accepted, and not once, did I ever feel that Musa wanted to change the story to fit a mold or model. My editor worked with me to polish and shine the story which was on the page. This is a gift, and any writer who has had a story edited for what is not on the page, knows exactly how big a gift it is to have an editor who doesn’t try to change your story. We had three rounds of edits, and each time, I felt like we were simply bringing the story up to a polished shine.  My editor had eagle eyes and pointed out some inconsistencies that had been in the manuscript through many, many readers. She worked with my vision, and that meant the world to me.

One of my worries was that my due dates for the edits was right after Thanksgiving. I had heard horror stories from other writers at other Houses about when they received edited manuscripts and how they had a very small turn-around window and had to work over holidays. That did not happen. My editor got the manuscript to me in plenty of time for us to finish with all the rounds of edits almost two weeks before the due date. I enjoyed my Thanksgiving dinner knowing the manuscript had been turned in.

I had the same worry about galleys. STAINED GLASS SUMMER has a December 30 release date.  Great timing for those who got e-readers for Christmas, but as the author, I was very worried that I’d be working on galley edits over Christmas. No worries there either. The galleys came through in plenty of time for me to read, suggest a few minor changes, and then see and approve the accepted version. Viola! Christmas is worry free!

One of the things that I love about the process with Musa is that it’s all done on e-mail. I worked with my editor on my manuscript via e-mail. She inserted comments and track changes into the manuscript and sent it to me, and then I edited, tracked changes, and sent it to her.  I think e-mail makes this process much faster and smoother. The same with the galleys. Musa uses a system where everything is uploaded. The book’s design artist sent me the galleys via e-mail, I downloaded, read, and made correction notes on a galley worksheet. Then, I sent it all back to her, she worked on it, and then I approved in the Musa system. No waiting for mail!

When it came time for cover art, again, I got to have a voice in the process. I was asked to fill out a Cover Art Questionnaire about my story.  I suggested images and colors as well as what I didn’t want.  A week after I had turned in the edited manuscript, the cover art popped up on the Musa system. I went in, looked at, suggested changes, and then the cover artist made changes. The editor and promotions gals also had a say in the process, and it was fun to see their suggestions.

As a writer, I think the biggest thing I did in this process was surrender. Each time I received notice that the manuscript was ready for edits or galleys, I took a deep breath, and reminded myself to surrender to the flow. I checked my ego at the door, and reminded myself that the goal was to create the best story we could for readers.  When I was a teacher, a friend of mine was a Coach and I loved hearing him tell the middle school kids, “There is no “I” in team.” As a writer, the same thing is true. There is no room for “I” in the publication process. Musa and I worked as a team, and we each brought our strengths to the table.  And because of that, the publication process went well, and  STAINED GLASS SUMMER is moving into the world as the best book it could be for readers.



2 responses to “Approving Galleys for STAINED GLASS SUMMER

  1. I agree 100% with you, Mindy. My book comes out with Musa on January 6th and the cover art and editing went flawlessly and it was FUN! It was unlike everything I’d ever read it would be. I had been waiting in literal horror at what I “thought” it was going to be. And it turned out to be an entirely enjoyable process.
    Ah, fellow Musan, we are so lucky to be here, aren’t we?

  2. Mindy Hardwick says:

    We are lucky, Patti!

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