Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Authors in the Corner: Linda Gerber

Today we have with us Linda Gerber.


It Takes a Village?

Writing may be a solitary pursuit, but making a book is not. At the moment, I'm finishing the final approvals on one book and digging into edits on another and I am struck by the number of people involved in the process. Here's a little rundown on the individuals involved in the success of my current release, DEATH BY BIKINI.

In the beginning, there's just me. I have an idea and I write it down. I play with it. I massage it. It comes to life and takes shape as I write the first draft of what will become the book. And it pretty much sucks. Not the idea. I still love the idea. But the writing needs some fine-tuning. A little tweaking here, a little cleaning up there. This is when I seek the input from my fabulous critique partners.

Can I just tell you how much I love my CPs? We have been together for six years and they are tireless in their help and encouragement, and believe me, during that first and second draft process, I need all the encouragement I can get.

After my CPs, the manuscript goes to my agent, who is one smart cookie. She will give me more feedback and I'll do more tweaking, and then the ms. gets sent to my editor.

I may be a wee bit prejudiced, but I believe I work with one of the best editors in the business. She's diplomatic and thorough and about as nice as they come, even when she's digging through the ms and finding all the mistakes and misses that slipped through the first few drafts. There's even a backup editor whose sharp eyes pick up anything my editor might miss. They give me their notes, and I tweak again.

At this point, the ms heads to copyediting. The copyeditor combs through and makes sure all my punctuation and grammar is correct, and that I got all my facts right. Not a fun job.

Meanwhile, the design team comes up with the cover art. I love the design team! Isn't the DEATH BY BIKINI cover fabulous? Yay, designers!!!

When the interior and cover is all approved, it goes to the good folks in printing. In the meantime, the tireless and brilliant sales team hits the pavement and gets the book into the hands of buyers, convincing them to take a chance on its success. They sold through the first print run before the release and even got DEATH BY BIKINI included in the Scholastic Book Fairs. I heart the sales team!!!

In the bookstores, the staff keeps the book on the shelves, recommends it to customers and reorders when their stock gets low. They arrange signings and events. Love the booksellers!

Finally, there are the readers, some of whom might get advanced copies before the release. They spread the word, offering reviews and telling friends what they thought of the book. Without them, there would be no purpose for the book in the first place.

So there you have it. It takes a village to make a book. Solitary? not.


Bunny B said...

Linda Gerber's cool! I LOVE Death by Bikini!!! xxxxx

Jessica Burkhart said...

I so agree. Editors, agents, publicists--everyone has a hand in a book's path.