Monday, May 21, 2012

After galley.


by RJ Morris
Production Manager,
Co-Founder, VP, The Wild Rose Press, Inc.


What happens to your baby after galleys? 
You’ve worked hard, you’ve slaved over a hot computer keyboard until your eyes are red rimmed and blurry, your fingers are numb, your back aches, and your legs don’t remember what it means to stand.  Your editor, whom you’ve blessed and cursed in the same breath, finally announces that your manuscript has completed the galley stage and is ready to go to production.  
You lean back in your chair that gives an audible complaint from over use and debate on whether or not to break out the champagne or wait until you have a release date.  You decide to field the question to your editor, who gives a patient, but obviously pat answer that it could be days, perhaps weeks before a release date is decided upon.  
“Why?” you ask.  The hard part is done, the text is flawless, even your dedication, carefully crafted to include everyone in your family that supported you during this long and often painful process, including the dog, is perfect.  Why would a release date take weeks to receive? 
Well, I’ll tell you.  There are a dozen things that must take place before the rest of the world can read your wonderful prose.  Electronic devices abound in this day and age, so your story must be formatted in specific ways to display properly on these devices.  Each one has its own unique way of handling text, so a good deal of care must go into this technical process.  If your book is to be printed, other formats must be created to align with the manufacturers’ specifications.  Many days of preparation for the distribution of your book must take place.  Then once these often tedious but necessary steps are taken, a release date can then be assigned to your book.  
“Finally!” you say.  “I’ll get a date and it’ll be just around the corner.”  
Um, well no.  As you were slaving at your keyboard, there were other manuscripts moving into production, also ready for dates and final formatting.  Therefore, your story must get in line.  
“But it’s an electronic book, why can’t it go out the minute it’s complete?” 
For The Wild Rose Press, Inc., we intentionally limit the number of releases per week so that each title gets a full day in the sun (2 weeks on the front page of our website).  If we were to release stories as quickly as we received them, then your wonderful tale and its lovely cover would be but a blip on the screen.  Literally.  So we limit ourselves to an average of five per week, which puts our releases about six months away from galley completion. 
Although you are saddened by this delay, you’re a savvy author and realize this allows you the time to promote your work and gather the crowds for the unveiling of your latest book.  It will be an event to remember, and an accomplishment to be proud of. 
So although you’ve slaved away and used your vivid imagination to create this fabulous piece of work, there are invisible steps and countless people required to get your book to the top of the publishing mountain. 
I hope this has enlightened some of you, and that you might consider saying a simple thanks now and again to those invisible people who work very hard to make your book the best it can be.  And as spokesperson for the invisible people, I say, thank you, for allowing us to be a part of your publishing life. 


41 comments:

Toni Lynn said...

Allow me to be the first to say a huge THANK YOU to those behind the scene who make THE WILD ROSE PRESS one of the best publishing companies to work with.

I remember announcing my sale and people asked where they could buy it. I had to explain that it wouldn't be available for about a year! But it's so worth the wait!

Barbara Weitz said...

Thank you for a great post. As one of your contemporary authors, I do all the things you mentioned except one...I only allow myself to take a short break. Then I use the time between galley to release to start another book.

Robena Grant said...

I'm new to TWRP, so this is very helpful. Thank you, and thanks to those who work so hard behind the scenes.

Leanne Tyler said...

RJ, thank you for sharing this important info to all. It is nice to get a glimpse behind-the-scenes so we can understand better what goes on and why it takes longer than we'd sometimes like to see our releases out there. The Wild Rose is the best and I enjoy writing for you.

Callie said...

Good article. Thanks for the info. I always wondered why it took so long between final galley and release with e-books.

Maggie Toussaint said...

I second Toni's comment. I've been with TWRP almost from the beginning and they are a great group. The editors, cover artists and management are top notch.

Maggie
http://mudpiesandmagnolias.blogspot.com/

Rolynn Anderson said...

Good explanation, RJ. I just got my new cover and my release date, so I'm in that 'sit back and say Whew,' stage. I like to think of the nine month or so process as a gestation period. Labor: sweating through the galley. Crowning: the cover and a release date. The baby: Holding the real book in my hands. Now comes the book/kiddo to raise (sell). All of a sudden, nine months looks short, in relative terms. We have a lifetime of getting that baby out there into the hands of readers!

Vonnie Davis said...

RJ, thanks for stepping into the sunlight for a few moments to share what your department does. Thank you, everyone! And on a very personal note, thank you for taking pity on a frazzled author who realized AFTER final galley was approved that I'd written my hero's Humvee was blown up by an IUD and not IED. Wow, talk about "strong" birth control. I know that error cost you additional work and I'm sorry. Yet, you wanted the best possible product just as I did. Hugs and thanks for your dedication to being the best.

Susan Macatee said...

Thanks for the explanation, R.J. I like having the time, once I get the release date, to work on promo and also like to have space between my own releases. Too close together and they can get lost in the promo shuffle.

Thanks for all that you do here at TWRP to make our books shine!

Lynnette Hallberg said...

This is a great post and goes to show how very important POV is. It all depends on whose eyes we're seeing the process through, doesn't it?

I want to add a huge thanks to everyone at TWRP for outstanding books--beginning to end!

Rebecca J. Clark said...

RJ, thanks so much to you and everyone else on the TWRP staff who work so hard to make our books and stories the best they can be.

:)Becky

http://rebeccajclark.com

Lynne Marshall said...

Having just received my release date for Too Close for Comfort - October 19th 2012 - I say THANK YOU!

Marie Tuhart said...

RJ, great post and thanks for giving us insight to what happens to our book after we're done with the galleys.

Clare Austin said...

Thank you for your post. Every time I open a new "self pubbed" book and find errors in grammar,I thank TWRP for being my publisher!
Clare

Loretta C. Rogers said...

You have a wonderful way with words, RJ. I really thought you were talking about me when you described how readers sit at their computers all day. Maybe you should write a book-wink...wink. This is why I enjoy being a TWRP authors. The behind the scene updates are enlightening. Thanks!

Pamela Fryer said...

I have always felt my editors (and everyone else behind the scenes) are more valuable than gold!

Eliza March said...

Oh, Vonnie I'm spitting coffee out my nose!!!

Larry Hammersley said...

Thanks RJ and all those behing the scenes folks. Special thanks to Nan who reads my stories. I am humbled at the personal attention she gives me considering she has twenty or more manuscripts on her desk at any one time.

Kathryn Knight - Silver Lake available 9/14/2012 said...

A big thanks for the informative post and also to all the behind the scenes people who work so hard - I'm proud to be a part of TWRP team :) I'm anxiously awaiting the release of my first novel in September, but I'm trying to keep busy working on my third and brainstorming promotional ideas!

Joyce Henderson said...

Thanks, RJ. As it is, TWRP seems to operate lickity-split from galley wrap-up to publication. I'm always amazed how quickly the internal publication process is.

Actually, in my experience TWRP is fast in every regard, from rejection or acceptance to finished product.

dianeokey said...

Made me smile as I read this, RJ. Yeah, we authors do slave over our "babies," but you behind-the-scenes 'guys' make it all happen in the end--and we owe you all a HUGE THANK YOU.
Here's mine, right now. You and your team are the best!!
Diane O'Key
CHERISH THE KNIGHT

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting all this information! It's good to know exactly what goes on behind the scenes. A big THANK YOU to everyone at The Wild Ropse Press!
Roni Denholtz

Liz Flaherty said...

Very informative. Thank you for sharing it.

stanalei said...

In this volatile industry of publishers crying because their authors aren't loyal... and author's crying because publishers aren't doing enough... I applaud THE WILD ROSE PRESS for caring enough about us to show us just how important we are to them.
I've just completed my first round of edits, don't have a release date or cover and I STILL feel so special and privileged to among the TWRP authors.
Thank you to RJ, Rhonda, Lisa and the host of others whose names I don't know yet. You guys R.O.C.K.!!!!

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Thank you for sharing this process. It's good to know what goes on behind the scenes.

Desiree Holt said...

I've been with Wild Rose almost since the day they opened their doors and it has been one of the richest, most rewarding experiences of my life. Whoever talked about a gestation period for a book hit it right on. But I also like to think of the book as the baby being delivered and TWRP as the nanny who nurtures it and helps it grow to a healthy child. I am blessed with the most fantastic editors and I know I'm not the only one who thinks TWRP nurtures their authors well. A TWRP book is a quality item BECAUSE all those unseen people are nurturing it and caring for it, and to all of you I say a big THANK YOU.

Calisa Rhose said...

I'm not the first, or even the fifth, but THANK YOU INVISIBLE PRODUCTION CREW. It's what you do so well that makes us all so proud to be a part of this wonderful, one-of-a-kind garden! :)

Debbie said...

Here is my big thank you. All of you behind the scenes at TWRP have made my experience of being a published author a wonderful one.

cindy said...

Thank you, RJ, and everyone else, especially my editor who gave me a great idea that made my ms. so much better. And the cover! Love that cover artist. Also the marketing woman who helped me figure out some half baked ideas for promo. And everybody else. My novel would not be half the book it is had I not published through TWRP.

Debra St. John said...

Hi RJ,

It's nice to 'see' you out and about! Thanks for the great behind-the-scenes post, and a bigger thanks for helping to start such a fabulous complany where so many awesome authors can come together to bloom and grow!

Hywela Lyn said...

I also want to thank RJ and the WRP staff for all the hard work and effort they put in. I'm proud to be a WRP author and so grateful that they gave me a chance with my very first novel, as a UK writer this was a huge thrill and meant I was able to achieve my dream of being published.

Beth Trissel said...

A big thank you to RJ and my fabulous editors and cover artists and all the invisible people who help bring my stirring tales to life on the electronic screen and sometimes in print as well!
*Beth, eagerly awaiting her release date(s).

Leigh D'Ansey said...

So THAT'S why! Thanks for being such brilliant publishers. I really appreciate my place in TWRP's garden.

Margaret Tanner said...

Thanks for such an informative blog RJ. I didn't realize it was such a complicated procedure, Thank you and all the amazing staff TWRP.

Regards

Margaret

Nancy Jardine said...

I can hardly wait till my next release in early Aug, but I do realise just how much goes on in the production side. I, too, say a huge thank you to all the staff who make it possible. As a nearly techno challlenged author I'm truly glad someone else is handling all of that for me.

Karyn Good said...

Thanks for the exploration, RJ. I did wonder how it all worked with the different formats! Thanks to you and everyone involved with The Wild Rose Press for a thoughtful and supportive process, beginning to end.

Nona Raines said...

This is such a timely post. Thanks for making so much clear and explaining all the work behind the scenes. And thanks everyone at TWRP for all you do!

Rhonda Penders said...

Great comments everyone! Perhaps now that RJ can feel the love she'll come out more often and play with the rest of us. Thanks for making her first blog a success.

Rhonda

Lilly Gayle said...

Thanks to TWRP, my cover artists, Angela Anderson and Tina Lynn Stout, my editors: Lill Farrell & Allison Byers, RJ, Lisa, and Rhonda. Whatever the formula you ladies use, it's working. My books are beautiful. In the words of Baby Bear, "They're just right." ;-)

allywildrose said...

RJ! Thank you for coming out of your cave to explain. I had a vague idea of why, but even though I work in the garden, I didn't know all those little details. When my authors asked me, just like a parent speaking to a child, I would answer, "Because, I said so!" - :-) No, I really didn't do that, but I didn't have as thorough an answer as you gave. Please come out to play more often!

Maddy said...

What a fascinating and insightful piece. I thought I had a reasonable handle on the 'print' side but the e-book phenomenon gives an entirely different flavor. Thank you.