A Few of My Favorite Things

This week I am doing a series of posts on some of the more frequently asked questions at the Launch Party for Five Enchanted Roses. If you have other questions you would like answered, please leave them in the comments section!

Today’s question is:

What was your favorite part of the publishing process?

There were a lot of things I enjoyed about the publishing process with Rooglewood. Everyone was very kind and easy to work with. Anne Elisabeth in particular is wonderful and very helpful. I got stuck a couple of different times and she always answered my questions thoroughly and thoughtfully and never made me feel silly for asking. I thought I would begin by sort of outlining the steps and the time-frame in which they occurred.

Step 1: Winners were announced (Feb. 1) – Much rejoicing was had by all! Then the nail-biting began as I waited for the promised editing notes.

Step 2: I received my editing notes on Feb. 27. They were… initially overwhelming, to be perfectly honest. At first glance, I felt that there was actually very little about the story that the editors had liked at all, and I got a little discouraged. My husband and I sat down and spent an evening going through each of the 23 suggested story edits, making our own notes and brainstorming about how to best address each one. Then the real work began. Writing the rough draft was a breeze in comparison. Every spare moment for the next five weeks was spent going through the story with a fine tooth comb. I re-wrote almost every scene in the story from the ground up, changing, tweaking, polishing – researching!! All. The. Research! When I was nearly done, I printed it off and handed it to a trusted friend and asked for her thoughts on it because I felt like I was going cross-eyed and couldn’t even see the story anymore. A true “forest for the trees” moment for me. She didn’t have very many suggestions, but they were all fantastic ones, so I made the necessary adjustments and handed my revised story back to Rooglewood on April 8. This mad-dash of furious editing step was quite possibly my favorite part of the entire process.

Step 3: Waiting. Stuff was happening to my story and I had nothing to do with it. This was by far the oddest, strangest, possibly the most difficult part of the process for me. As a self-published author, I am used to being the one in control of my stories. Nobody edits or adds or subtracts or re-words my stories but me. Editors make suggestions, of course, but ultimately I am responsible for every word that ends up published. It was also kind of nice, I could focus on other projects while things were finalized with my story, and there wasn’t a thing I could do for Stone Curse, which was kind of relaxing… but stressful… it was very odd. Apparently, I’m a control freak about my writing. I did not know this about myself prior to the contest!

Step 4: On June 8, I received the galleys (almost-finished version) of the entire book (I refrained from reading the other stories until I had the paperback in my hands, but OH! it was so hard!) and was able to read through the story and send requests for changes and make note of any lingering typos or strange formatting issues.

Step 5: I sent in my change requests and then waited for the launch party!

So, which was my favorite part? I honestly can’t choose. I loved the marathon of editing (I know that sounds strange, but it was really fun to see the story transform, and I know it’s my best writing yet… I also learned a lot from it and those lessons are ones I’ll take with me into every writing endeavor from now on). I loved not having to do everything – not having to line up the editors, beta readers, proof readers or ARC readers. I enjoyed not having to do all the formatting. I loved working with Anne Elisabeth and her team. Most of all, I think I loved being a part of this group of amazing authors and getting to know them. We commiserated over our edits and our respective inabilities to stay within the word-limit. We rejoiced together when we sent in our edits and received our finished books. We had fun putting together the Ring Around the Rose meme and creating the Character Quiz for the launch party. It was a team unlike any other I’ve ever been a part of and I’m so glad I got to be part of it. I can’t wait to see what other stories these authors roll out, because I know I’m going to be among the first in line waiting anxiously to receive my copies of anything they write in the future.

~ jenelle

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