It takes a really L-O-N-G time to see a book published. When you have a multiple-book contract (in my case, three at a time), you're always somewhere in the process. Finish one book, hand it in, start another. Then while you're finishing up book 2, you get the copy edit or galley proofs for #1. #1 is finally published about the time you're starting book #3. And on it goes.
Right now I'm inching up to publication of my third Booktown Mystery, BOOKPLATE special. I handed it in (well, actually before) February 1, 2009. I took a month off, and then started the current book, Chapter & Hearse. A while back, I got the copy edit for Bookplate Special--handed that in, and a few weeks later, got the galley proofs.
The other day, I got the bound galley proof, which is a trade-sized version of the book. (The text, however, is still mass market paperback size. Suffice to say it's because Print On Demand presses are used in the galley process--it's not cost-effective to use a paperback press for a small run, and bound galleys are usually under 2,000 copies. In this case, the press run for bound galley was probably under 200 (and possibly under 100).)
I was spoiled with the bound galley for Murder Is Binding. They decided to do the actual cover on it. It was gorgeous--and actually a little different than the final version of the book. I got five copies. I never got to see the bound galley for Bookplate Special, nor did I get a cover flat. (Bummer.) So I was especially surprised and delighted to get nine bound galleys for Bookplate Special--although it had a plain salmon-colored cover. But I did get two cover flats, and one of them is going to be framed.
What I like best about the cover flat--besides the fantastic cover (it's my favorite so far), is the marketing information on the back. It gave me a piece of information my editor hadn't given me. Under Marketing Information, it says: Print Advertising in mystery publications.
Whoa-ho-ho! They're going to spend money on ADVERTISING the book. Yee-ha! Of course, who knows if that'll actually work, but I'm very happy to hear about that.
So, what's going to happen with those nine galley proofs?
Well, one of them is MINE! (Okay, I got mayonnaise on the cover and ruined it. Yup, that's my copy.) The other eight? I have five earmarked for reviewers. I'll probably do a contest to give them away before the book is available for sale. (It's on sale as of November 3rd, but you can preorder online or at your favorite chain or Indie bookstore.) Of course, these galleys are rife with typos. Especially the name of Tricia's store. For some reason, the copy editor deleted a key word, so through the first third of the book Tricia owns Haven't Got Clue bookstore (instead of Haven't Got A Clue bookstore).
Okay, where can you find out about the contest for a bound copy? Only from my newsletter. How do you get my newsletter? You sign up with the box right here on my blog (Scroll down to that box to the right), or you go to my web site's contest page. (My next newsletter will be out in early August.)
If you haven't already signed up for my newsletter . . . what are you waiting for?