Niamh Clune

Environment, poetry, comment, children's books,

The 2nd Bite of Bacon! The Long Journey To Paperback!!!

It is HERE! The paperback version of Marta Pelrine-Bacon’s Book: The Blue Jar! test cover 3 gradient

Marta has always wanted to hold her book in print. Well! Now, she is. And even if I must say so myself, I am delighted not only with Marta’s great story, but with the book’s velvety look and feel!

We all know how much work goes into the writing of a book. But do we know how much work does into its production? Writing is the first stage, but then comes the rest: the editing process, which is exhausting for the author and exhaustive for the editor!

Every sentence must be combed through for flow, syntax, vocabulary, punctuation, grammar, verb usage ~ subject/verb agreement and verb tense. Then there’s adjectives, adverb/verb agreement, neologisms (if used, do they add to the story?) Spelling, sense, shadow words, repetition, dialogue being consistent with various characters, accents, era and setting ~ all must be analysed and questioned! Is the history consistent in terms of description and fact? Does the story *show* without *telling* too much? (The reader’s imagination must be engaged without being dictated to!)

And this is only the first stage of the editing process. Each paragraph must be considered for continuity. Whole paragraphs and chapters might move positions! At the last, the overall must be cohesive. Does the plot make sense? Has the writer grabbed you with their opening lines? Is the writer’s voice strong and unique?

Will editor and author still be friends at the end of such a process! I have to say, Marta is pure joy to work with ~ a thorough professional in every way!

I am an English (UK) writer and editor (and book designer!) American English and UK English are different in so many ways. It isn’t just spelling and grammar. It’s rhythm. The way an American writer places words in a sentence might seem quite unnatural to a UK English writer, and vice versa. However, if we wrote exactly how we speak, it would prove unintelligible!

The rhythm of sentence structure is part of our core ~ runs deep as blood! This is why my English is considered lilting, as I am influenced by how the Irish speak it ~ we love turning sentences around and playing with the order of words. Oh! And we love vocabulary and words for the sake of themselves!

Editing is followed by proof-reading. During editing, the author makes changes and with them, more typos ~ it’s unavoidable. The task of proof-reading differs from editing. Proofing is an art in itself. I insist on at least two other people doing comprehensive proof-reads, as once an editor knows the writing really well, his/her brain becomes used to seeing what it thinks is there. This is why authors are at a severe disadvantage if they don’t have a really good editor for their stories. All authors hear their own personal, internal rhythm and sense-making ~ maing it impossible to know how it will read to others.

Then comes the cover-making and all the technical stuff that goes into that. (I have written about this before.) Production is next. It must be sent to print. ISBN’s must be added, as well as all the publishing details sent to Nielsen ~ the company that provides bibliographic data services throughout the publishing industry. Books must be uploaded to Distributor channels (such as Gardner’s Books and Amazon), and physical copies of every book ever published must be sent to central libraries, such as The British Library.

Then comes marketing. And this is where you come in. None of the work, care, love, skill, heart or soul means anything without you, the readers! Will you help? Spread the word, share, buy the book as paperback or e-book. The paperback can be bought directly from our web-site. It is on Special Offer ~ price inclusive of postage and packing. And please add your name to our subscription list for the chance to win a beautiful, gift-wrapped pack of Marta’s Bunny Collection of Art cards with five of my gift/card peel and stick poems. (See them in our on-line shop).

Sincere thanks to Dianna Gielestra and Daniel H. Vimont for great proof-reads!

And well done Marta! May you book leap into the future and be the first of many!!!

About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books.

5 comments on “The 2nd Bite of Bacon! The Long Journey To Paperback!!!

  1. mapelba
    January 17, 2014

    Reblogged this on Marta Pelrine-Bacon and commented:
    My publisher, Plum Tree Books, writes a bit about the process of bringing a book out into the world. Writing may be solitary, but publication takes a village. Thanks to everyone who helped, and thank you to everyone who helps the book continue its journey.


    • ontheplumtree
      January 17, 2014

      Marketing takes a village. Publishing should take a village, but that’s what happens when you are a cottage publisher and writer…you have to wear many hats. So, we now need all the help we can get!


  2. Patricia Tilton
    January 17, 2014

    Congratulations Marta! It must be thrilling to see your book in print. I have a some UK English critique partners, and it took me a while to understand terms and expressions when I reviewed their manugscripts — as they did with my MS. But, I like the expression the “writing is solitary and publishing takes a village.” I wish you the very best with your novel!


  3. thiskidreviewsbooks
    January 19, 2014

    Congratulations! I think a lot of people don’t realize how much work it is for an author to get a book published! This is great! 🙂


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