Writing on Wednesday: “First Pages” Coming Today!
Although I’ve been published in three anthologies (as a contributor) I’m new to the business of publishing as an author or editor. As editor of A Second Blooming: Becoming the Women We Are Meant to Be, I’m working with an academic press on the publishing process. Last week they let me know they were meeting to discuss cover art, and asked for suggestions/input from me. I wish I had spent more time thinking about this, and only had a couple of suggestions at the last minute. This was my favorite (the woman with the flower tattoo) but I understood the press’s concerns that the cover might be a bit too edgy and limit market appeal. On the other hand, I don’t want a bunch of flowers and lacy images that look like the cover of Farmer’s Almanac. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!
Meanwhile, the copy editor is sending me what they call “first pages” today. In their parlay, “first pages” means the copyedited manuscript, which is returned to me for proofreading and any corrections. This set of pages won’t include any art or design. I’m supposed to return the manuscript with my corrections in two weeks.
Once they enter all the corrections, they will return the complete designed and formatted book for me to proof again. They call this “second pages.” Sometimes these are called galleys. I found a blog post from a couple of years ago by Nathan Bransford (agent/author) in which he defines a lot of publishing terms. If you’re interested, it’s here
After I return the second pages with my corrections, the press will finish the cover design—dust jacket for hardcover or cover for paperback. After getting quotes from printers, they choose one and send everything off to be printed, which can take 4-8 weeks. Finally the book will arrive in the warehouse, I’ll get my copies, and it will take another 6 weeks or so for nationwide distribution.
I hope you enjoyed this little inside peek into the publishing world—or at least what it looks like in my current experience. Stay tuned as the journey continues! And always, thanks for reading.