Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Early Readers of Our Finished Manuscripts

My novel-length, historical fiction manuscript, A Decent Woman, is in the hands of a publishing company that has a team of early readers who will give early feedback as to whether or not they believe my book should be published. If it's a green light from the early readers, then a creative team of editors, managers, marketing pros, and book cover artists will sit around discussing the pros and cons of publishing my book. I'm excited, fearful and very curious to receive their feedback. I wonder how much feedback I'll receive if any at all?

So far, my editor and several friends have read my novel and I've read it more times than you can shake a stick at it. I still love my story, but of course, I'm biased. What will this group of early readers think? Will they like and relate to my characters Ana and Serafina? When I read a book, I must feel a connection to the characters for me to remain engaged. Have I accomplished that with my novel?

I probably won't have the opportunity to answer the early reader's questions (if they come up) or clarify any confusion they encounter as they read. My novel must stand on its own two feet, so to speak. It's a done deal. It doesn't matter who I am, what my credentials are or what life's experiences I've had--my book now speaks for me and represents me. There's no time to revise or change anything at this point with this company. Have I done enough?

I'm glad that I'll be on vacation for a week in August and I look forward to Labor Day weekend with my children. I can't imagine sitting in front of my laptop, waiting for an email reply. Of course, my iPhone will be with me, so I'll be able to check my emails several times a day! I hope I don't do that though. My friends have promised a fun-filled, busy vacation with BBQs, pool parties, and sailing regattas. I can't wait to spend time with my friends. We haven't seen each other in 11 years and we have much to catch up on.

I'll be meeting new people from all walks of life during my time away which is exciting. As always, I will people watch, participate in new conversations, and share new activities. I'll tuck away figures of speech, stories, observe body language and like a kid, I'll absorb it all like a sponge. I will have new eyes on my trips and I'm always open for a new adventure. This is where stories are born--in the listening, experiencing and in the quiet watching. And no, that's not stalking!

I'll pack the laptop, one camera, a new notebook and several pens and will continue to blog while I'm away. My camera will be close by and my thoughts won't be too far away from the early readers who have my manuscript in their hands. If I am near a church, I'll light a candle or ten for a positive response from the early readers and the publishing company. I'll also light a candle for patience and serenity for myself :)

Happy Tuesday to you.

Peace and love,

Ellie










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