October 16, 2010

How Close Are You?

I've been Tweeting lately about the Author Forms my publisher sent me to fill out for each of my accepted books. They are new (well, refurbished) for Covenant, but their purpose is to organize, connect with the author, and create the best product possible for both the publisher, the artist, and of course, the reader. And, man, are they exhaustive. I know my novel better than I thought possible. Here are just a few of the requirements, followed by the form they are filed under:
  • 2 page summary of entire novel. Editorial. (Thank heavens it can be single-spaced)
  • 2-3 sentence summaries of each chapter. Editorial.
  • physical description of main character(s). Graphics.
  • description/background of EVERY SPEAKING CHARACTER. Audio. (for The Orchard I have 23)
  • special items/symbols. Graphics.
  • pronunciation guide to any suspect words. Audio.
  • sample sales pitches. Marketing.
  • marketing availability and plan. Marketing.
And lots of background info (setting, time, key turning points, etc.), dedication, acknowledgments, author photo, author BIOs (which are harder than they sound), and the kitchen sink.

Mark Twain writing in bed.
See what I mean? And I thought I was just writing stories.

How well do you know your novel?


A.L. Sonnichsen said...

I guess this is good to know, but gosh, how terrifying!

No, but really, thank you. I'm going to store this away in my memory bank so if I ever do get published I'm not shocked. "They want WHAT?!" :)


Marsha Ward said...

That's a lot of work! How close, do you suppose, the total word count will come to equaling that of your book? :-)

A.L., I knew "Doc" Sonnichsen, a great Western non-fiction writer, many years ago. We met when we rode a bumpy flight from Denver to Sheridan, Wyoming, to a writers conference, in adjacent seats. Any family connection?

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm pretty darn familiar with my current WIP and that makes me very happy. I'm glad to see all the things you know about your piece, even if the work load is a bit exhausting. ;)

Abel Keogh said...

Out of curosity, do you keep a notebook that details all of the characters, etc. as you write the story?

Krista said...

Abel, I do. Fortunately. But with The Orchard, my first novel, it was a messy list with a few characteristics tacked on behind a few of the names. I had to sort through it a bit, but it was there. I had the rough outline mapped out. I'm a little (teeny) bit more organized now. Right now I'm digging through my notes on The Inn! Far fewer speaking characters in that one!

Krista said...

I've been thinking about this and remembered a post I wrote about character bios. The link is here: http://kristalynnejensen.blogspot.com/2010/06/tuesday-edit-crunch-run-forrest-run.html
Or you can click on CHARACTER in my topic cloud on the right and scroll down until you come to Run, Forrest, Run.
I treat my main characters, and any subplot characters, to a character bio. It's fun.

Heather B. Moore said...

I always turn in all that anyway, except for the chapter by chapter summary. Haven't started on that for Ammon . . . it does take a lot of time, but you are really killing 2 birds with one stone because once you have your 2 page synopsis, you can write the sales pitch. And once you have the chapter summaries, it reminds you of the characters and their descriptions (I keep a running character chart as I write though).

And you really want your cover to depict the story, and the audio reader to get the characters right :-)

Krista said...

Exactly, Heather! Now that I've done it once, I'm mapping out the order I want to handle things . . . I'm doing the chapter summaries before the 2-page summary, so I can get a clear vision of the main story thread. I did the Character descriptions first because I enjoy that and it gets me excited about the story. I'll leave the sales pitches for last.
And, it is fun to imagine different options for a cover, and realize my vision is being considered.

MT said...

Woo. I've got some learning to do if I'm going to be ready for that. Time to go to another writer's conference, and I know what classes I'll be taking this time around! Thanks for the peek into this process. Have a great week. :)

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