Road to Publication #17: Getting the ARCs for final approval

Why is my blood pressure up today?  The Advance Release Copies (ARCs) for the Make Believe Anthology have been released.

They arrived while I was at work, and unable to download them.  I see a flurry of “Yay” and “high-fives” from a few of the other authors during the day as they review their own, and see the other author’s work for the first time.

They seemed excited.

I’m not excited.

Excited is definitely not the word for it.  I think nauseous covers it about right.

I think part of my problem is that the first 500 words were recently released.  I found a sentence in the wrong place.  My heart sank.  I contacted the publisher, and they said to go ahead and fix it for the first page release, and to make sure I fix it when I got the ARCs. Whew!

But now I’m worried about what else I might find.  Maybe I’m overreacting.  I hope I’m overreacting.

Okay.  Enough stalling.  I’m going to download it to my Kindle now.

Okay.  Wow.  So cool to see it for the first time.  I need to fix any errors in mine in the next two weeks and return it.  So… sorry ladies, but I will read yours later.

I flip to my story, and my gaze hovers over the cover page.  Yep.  That’s my name.  Feels good.

I flip to the next page.  Something’s wrong.  Have you ever stared at something, not even read it, and known something was not right?

The formatting.  Oh, crud.  The Font in my title pages is important.  It gives an emotional impact… a “feel” of being outside.  They replaced it with a blocky, emotionless ruggedly bold text.

The first “first 500” that was sent to me to post on-line had the correct font.  Hopefully this will be a simple fix.

Before I really get down to reading, I receive an email with the instructions on how to notify them of changes, and what kind of changes will be accepted.  One phrase stood out.

“We won’t guarantee all your final changes will be made, but now is the last possible time for you to make them.”

Now my blood pressure is pumping because I never had the chance to “okay” a final completed version before it went to ARCs.  I have no idea if the changes that I discussed with the editor “piece meal” were inserted correctly BEFORE it was sent to copy editing.

Okay… Deep breath.  You have two weeks.  Just get it done so they have time to fix any errors you may find.

Oxygen anyone?  Nah—skip the oxygen.  I need chocolate.  And lots of it.

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31 responses to “Road to Publication #17: Getting the ARCs for final approval

  1. My heart started to pound for you as I read this. But you have done some amazing things in a short period of time, and I know you will be able to make your changes in two weeks. The chocolate will help. On the other side – how exciting to see it now! :-)

  2. Breathe so you can eat another chocolate truffle. You’ll get those revisions done. :)

    But as others have noted, something may still slip through, either a font you don’t like but are forced to live with or a typo or two. They happen, even to perfectionists. Because none of us is perfect.

    Even in the old days with real proofreaders and copy editors, mistakes always got through. If one or two slip into your final version, they won’t make you a bad or sloppy writer or your editors and press incompetent. Ad 99.9 percent of readers won’t even notice.

    I know! You want it perfect. But true beauty contains a flaw or two. So does great writing. :)

    Now breathe again and take another piece of good Belgian chocolate!

  3. Chocolate and coffee! Good luck:-)

  4. At some point our story babies become teenagers and others get to influence how they look and express themselves.

    I had a horrendous run with corrections. Some that I noted twice, still made it into the final published version. They’re not something that will alter the story, but I know they’re there. You will too. Every time you read it. But that’s part and parcel of doing business with a publisher.

    I had a giant hissy fit, then contacted my publisher, when I’d calmed down. After that, I got on with my life as a published author. You will too.

    Remember to breathe. :D

  5. Jennifer–Congratulations, and calm down. Two weeks? Sounds like a piece of cake. Make that a piece of chocolate cake.

  6. You’ll be able to do what you need to do in 2 weeks. We’re always given seemingly impossible tasks, and somehow, we just get through them. Good luck!

  7. I can really feel your pain on this one. When my publisher sent me the “final” copy where no further changes could be made, I realized they had italicized two full paragraphs that shouldn’t have been italicized. Luckily they changed it, but then I still noticed one word that didn’t get italicized but should have been, since it was a character’s thought. But I figured there was nothing I could do at that point, so I might as well shrug it off. It’s a tiny thing, and one I’m sure no one will notice (or if they do, they probably won’t care about it). But I know about it. And it still bugs me. :)

    • Yikes that would drive me nuts! I’m a perfectionist at heart. I’m harder on myself than anyone would be on me.

      If someone points out something that I know is wrong? Ugh I know it will drive me nuts!

      • I hear you. I’m the same way. But I try to remind myself it’s out of my control now. And honestly, when I find a small mistake in a book, including those published by the big houses, I don’t think much of it. It’s only if there are a lot of mistakes that things become distracting. Like you, I’m harder on myself than others. :)

  8. writerwendyreid

    I would wish you luck, but you don’t need it. You’ve got talent, patience and drive. You don’t need anything else. Trust yourself. xo

  9. To quote from ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ – Everything will be alright in the end, and if it’s not alright, then it’s not the end.

    • Interesting quote. I like it. Problem is there is a point where if I miss something… It is the end because it will be published

      • I thought of that when I was posting my comment, but things may still turn out alright in the end, even if it’s not the end you envisage, or the way you envisaged! The published book is an end, but might not be THE end. Like the lessons you learn here mean that in the longer term things are more alright than they otherwise would be. Maybe. Or maybe I’m just spouting rubbish now! Good luck with it all anyway!

  10. I read all the stories and they are fantastic, including yours. I’m not sure about the font thing. I think the publisher might have to keep all the fonts uniform for the final piece so one story doesn’t stand out from the rest. It will be interesting to see what happens. In the meantime, eat copious amounts of dark chocolate, maybe those kinds that have the gooey raspberry or pomegranate filling, that squish in your mouth as you bite down. You know…Ghirardelli or Lint truffles. Yum. Heaven. All will be right with the world.

  11. nice read jenn. since when does a writer’s blood pressure jump around? that chocolate just might fix it. use any trick you can find:)

  12. Ooooooo EXCITING! :)

    Good luck honey xx