Back to School, Off to Publisher

It’s back to school week, an extremely appropriate time to send my “baby” (the final manuscript of book #4) off to the publisher. Time to celebrate another “chick” leaving the brain nest—I might even shed a few crocodile tears about its fledgling independence!

This book is the longest I’ve written so far (270 pages), with six point-of-view characters, which helps explain why it took so long to finish it. Even after various times when I thought it was complete (starting two years ago), I still found details that needed to be removed (or, in a few cases, embellished) and scenes that could be further streamlined. Since March, I’ve done two full read-throughs and found several corrections to make each time.

Now, at last, it’s out of my hands.

Several people have asked me why there’s so much lead time before it’s available to readers (June 2020). First, the publisher will do a copy edit and then send back corrections, which might lead to several weeks of back and forth. Once that process is completed, they design the layout, which I will also get to check over before “Advance Reader’s Copies” (known in the industry as ARCs) are created. The goal is to make ARCs available to reviewers and other influencers early in 2020.

The rest of the lead time will be taken up with marketing-related stuff: asking for blurbs, getting early reviews, and making sure that readers who like New England coastal fiction or who care about conserving open land find out about it. I’d love it if you all help spread the word—and, ideally, pre-order your copy when the time comes (more about that in December).

That’s what’s ahead. For now, I’m taking some deep breaths and pausing to celebrate this transition to the next phase—not back to school, but off to be published. Cheers!

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