Monday, November 5, 2012

Guest Post: Twelve Months Later by Emma Pass

So, you have a book deal. Congratulations! But what happens next (apart from the consumption of champagne/cake and the walking round with a gigantic grin on your face, pinching yourself every now and then to check you're not dreaming?)?

One thing that will almost certainly happen is that people – perhaps lots of people – will ask you why they can't buy your book yet. Because you write a book, you sell it to a publisher for bazillions of pounds (or dollars, or Euros, or whatever currency the country you're getting published in uses), they print gazillions of copies, slap a couple of covers on them, send them to ALL the bookshops and… ta-daa! Your book is out there. In, like, weeks. Right?

Um, no. At that stage, you probably don't even have a proper release date. And when you try to tell those people that, chances are, you'll get some funny looks. Why not? they want to know. How can it take so long? What will you do while you're waiting?

What they don't realise is that when your book sells, your work has only just begun. I (or rather, my agent) sold my first novel, ACID, to Random House Children's Publishing in July 2011. It's going to be published on 2nd May 2013 – almost two whole years after RHCP bought it. But does that mean I've been sitting here, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for my book to hit the shelves?

Hell, no!

I did have to do a bit of waiting to start with, first for my contract, and then for my editor's first set of notes on ACID. So in between fleshing out ideas for my second book (ACID sold in a 2-book deal) I got busy starting to build an online profile – namely, joining Twitter and starting a blog. These were things I hadn't even considered before selling ACID, and I had to be given a gentle prod by my publisher in their direction, but to my surprise I loved them. After years of only showing my writing to my husband and a few close family members, and then my agent (who I signed with back in 2007), it was a revelation to be able to talk to so many other people who were as obsessed by books and writing as I was. I even got asked to join my group blog, The Lucky 13s, via Twitter… and was asked to do this guest post, too!

My first set of editorial notes arrived in November – four months after my sale – and the work, which dealt with some fairly major changes to the second half of the book, as well as line edits, took until the end of February to complete. My second round of notes (much lighter this time) came at the beginning of April, and I sent the manuscript back to my editor at the end of the month. At the end of May, I got my copyedits, with a mid-June deadline. All this was on top of starting to write book 2 in between revisions, blogging, having an almost-full-time day job, helping my husband run a business, trying to make inroads into my ever-growing TBR pile and somehow squeezing in time to see friends and family who probably thought I'd emigrated to the moon – phew! Finally, this July, one year after ACID sold, my editor and I agreed a deadline for book 2, and while ACID went off to the typesetters for the proof pages to be made, I settled down to it in earnest.

So that was the first year after I got my book deal – one of the busiest, craziest years of my entire life! And now things are getting even busier. Proofs of ACID will shortly be going out to reviewers (eep), and I just got my first set of edit notes for book 2. And I've still got 6 months to go! I think I'm going to put the kettle on and make some coffee. Lots of coffee…

Emma Pass grew up at an environmental studies centre near London, went to art school in Cornwall and now lives in the North-East Midlands where she's minion to The Hound. Emma is represented by Carolyn Whitaker at London Independent Books and her YA dystopian thriller ACID is out in the UK from Corgi Children's/Random House on 2nd May 2013. You can find her website here, her blog here, and catch her procrastinating on Twitter here. Oh, and she'd really like it if you'd like her on Facebook here!


  1. It's a very nerve-wracking time, but it'll be worth the wait - ACID sounds fabulous. Good luck Emma and I wish you lots of sales. Thanks Joe!

    1. Thank you, Susan! And thanks for having me on the blog, Joe. :)

  2. You're welcome, thanks for being here! :-)