As I reported last April, one of Amazon's imprints, Lake Union, bought my novel, Daughters. On the brink of a re-launch, here are the details of what's been going on in the last seven months. Daughters was originally published by Delacorte Press and had professional editing and proofreading but there were still many glitches in the 720-page manuscript.
1. The first step was the long process of re-editing.. The re-editing was not for narrative content but for inconsistencies within the narrative of historical references, dates, inconsistencies in the story lines of each character, etc.
2. The second step was proofreading. This step included English usage, grammar, awkward phrasing, etc. I had mis-used or omitted about a gazillion commas. (By the way, the rules of comma use are so long, complicated and open to interpretation they are useless for normal writing. No. Really. They. Are.) I had paid particular attention to the use of which/that but the proofreader shut down all my "thats" and changed them to "whichs."
3. The third step was selecting and approving a cover. I have to applaud Lake Union for including the writer in this process. In traditional publishing they can put Hitler's Baby on the cover and you have nothing to say about it. You see the cover when it's done. Lake Union allowed me to reject designs, images and typeface during several rounds.
4. The fourth step was jacket copy. Again Lake Union allowed me to approve, re-write and suggest material for the jacket copy. We also decided on a title change because the publisher didn't feel that the original title conveyed the depth and reach of the novel. "Three Daughters" is the new title.
5. One day in September I heard from a man in Michigan who was going to direct the audio version of the novel. (Amazon has its audio book studios, Brilliance, in Michigan.) The novel is set in Palestine and there are many foreign phrases and accents in the book. This dedicated man had researched every non-English phrase and wanted me to confirm the pronunciation. The actress selected to read all 19 discs (23 hours of listening) was excellent.
6. One evening two weeks ago, the UPS man left several big packages in my vestibule. My son, who was visiting, opened one box and found copies of the first printing of "Three Daughters." It was nice to have him there to show all the proper emotion because I'm a dud at showing proper emotion. Besides the paper edition, there is a digital edition, MP3 edition and an audio book.
7. After a conference call with the head of marketing and my author coordinator, I am awaiting the official publication day next Tuesday, November 25.