new books / writing

Countdown to Publication – Lucy Strange

In just a few months my first book, The Secret of Nightingale Wood, will be published. In fact, it has already popped up for pre-order on Amazon (I nearly fainted when I saw it).

Being a writer is a dream I have had since I was a little girl and so it feels utterly wonderful but very odd indeed that my dream is actually coming true. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ll quite believe it until I see my actual book in an actual book shop with my own actual eyes.

I thought I’d tell you about some of the things that happen in the run up to getting a book published, because it isn’t exactly how I imagined it might be…

1) Finishing the book… DONE! you think, clicking SAVE and sitting back with an enormous feeling of achievement… But wait! You may think your manuscript is the bee’s pyjamas, but now you have to convince other people – an agent or a publisher – that your story is worth taking on – that in this market buzzing with millions of brilliant books, your book is the one they really should bet on.

2) Editing… I wrote about this in some detail in my post Work In Progress… Click on the link to find out a bit more about the process. All I shall say here is that writing the book really is the easy bit. It takes most writers a very long time and lots of rewrites to get a book into a fit state to be published. Editing can be heart-breaking and brain-exploding all at the same time, but it is of course well worth the effort…
secret of nightingale wood

3) Cover design… The moment your publisher sends you the early drawings for the cover of your book can be a pretty scary one. My finger paused over the ‘Open JPEG’ button for several seconds while I took a deep breath and steeled myself: what if I hate it?!! Luckily I didn’t hate it. I am head over heels in love with the cover design (above) – the amazing artist Helen Crawford-White interpreted the mood and the content of my book SO beautifully. She also designed the cover for one of this year’s most gorgeous books – The Girl of Ink and Stars written by the fabulous Kiran Millwood Hargrave.

4) Publicity stuff… My publisher sent me off to be trained on how to do good talks in schools about my books. This was GREAT fun – we did lots of breathing exercises and learnt physical warm-ups to help get rid of pre-presentation jitters. We also played with lots of different ideas to help make our talks interesting and entertaining for our audiences so we won’t accidentally bore your socks off! (One hopes…)

author training

Training with lovely fellow authors, Ally Sherrick, Natasha Farrant and Sarah Rubin, Author Profile coach, Amy, and the multi-talented Jazz at Chicken House.

5) Planning the launch… This is the bit I’m really looking forward to now! Soon my publisher and I will be planning the launch of my book. This is when I will get to see it on the shelves and celebrate it becoming an ACTUAL REAL BOOK! Also, I am hoping there will be lots of cake and party hats… As you can see, I’m a little bit excited about this already…
party hat

6 thoughts on “Countdown to Publication – Lucy Strange

    • Thanks so much – yes, I totally love the cover. There’s something indescribably awesome about an artist taking the time to interpret your ideas like this… Blown away by it all!!

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