That’s right–now you can find The Chance You Won’t Return at IndieBound, Amazon, Powell’s, and other places you may enjoy buying books! And if online choices overwhelm you, you can also add the book to your Goodreads list and give yourself a few months to decide.
Okay, so the book isn’t technically out until April 22, 2014, but just seeing it at these online book vendors makes me super excited. This is real and maybe someday The Chance You Won’t Return will be read by people I don’t even know. As always, the only true expression of my emotions is in gif form:
Here’s to continuing that wild ride on the road to publication! (Especially if that ride is on a hippogriff.)
My first pass pages! Love the “Author Set” note at the top.
Another milestone complete in The Chance You Won’t Return‘s journey to publication–first pass pages!
First pass pages are another round in the editorial process. This time, edits are really minor–removing an extra comma here, changing a word or phrase slightly there. By this point, the book should read almost exactly like it will come publication. Reading through, I marked any pages with edits with blue sticky notes, because otherwise it would have been so easy to miss changes when I sent them along to Candlewick.
At this point the manuscript is still unbound, but its pages are printed to look like they will in book layout. After seeing the manuscript as a Word document for the last few years, seeing it looking almost like a real book is pretty exciting.
I’m also a big editorial nerd, so I had fun reading through the manuscript and catching any stray errors. It’s like Where’s Waldo? but with fewer striped shirts and more em dashes.
First pass pages also means that we’re one step closer to ARCs and seeing The Chance You Won’t Return as a real-life book with a cover and bound pages and a spine so it can sit on a shelf. I’m going to have to break out all the happy gifs when that happens. In the meantime, here’s my post-first pass pages happy dance:
One of the first things I learned about being a debut author was “Don’t get attached to your title.” Even if it sounds perfect to you, it’s still part of the book’s editorial journey and, just like particular scenes or characters, is very likely to change*.
That change was part of my book’s journey. I’m happy to announce my brand new title…
THE CHANCE YOU WON’T RETURN
I’m feeling really good about the new title, and I think it suggests a lot of the themes/emotions from the book–loss and hope and grief and uncertainty and searching. I really liked Queen of the Air, but ultimately I think The Chance You Won’t Return hits the vibe of the book way more, and feels more like YA.
With any luck, that means lots more reveals to come. (Covers! Blurbs! More kittens!) Major thanks to my wonderful editor and agent for working through the new title process with me; you guys are the best!
Ellen Oh and Tanita Davis have excellent posts up about the sad state of diversity in children’s books (both in terms of authors/illustrators and characters). More posts on this important issue at bookshelves of doom.
Copyedits are different than the editorial letters you may get from your editor. These all deal with the nitty-gritty of your manuscript–consistent spelling, where the commas should be, if your character is supposed to be going to the moon on a Tuesday or Wednesday, etc. Basically, copyeditors are like Nancy Drews for the book world.
This week I received my copy-edited manuscript from Candlewick and, thankfully, it was a pretty painless process. This is probably helped by the fact that I a) have worked in publishing, so I’m familiar with the process/terms and b) I’m a huge grammar nerd at heart. I feel like copyediting is basically a game in which you have to find all the secret, hidden mistakes. Get all the points with correct grammar!
A few things my copyeditor caught:
When I switched the spelling of one minor character’s last name and then switched it back.
Missing words in quotes by Amelia Earhart (which is probably why I shouldn’t try to type while holding a book open).
That if Halloween is on a Sunday, Christmas shouldn’t fall on a Tuesday.
Missing commas (a comma fan like I am was only too happy to put them in).
When I try to use words that almost sound like the one I actually meant to use.
I’m so happy that someone went through my manuscript and was able to pick out all these little errors that would have looked so horrific in print. And I’m even more psyched that this means we’ve taken another big step in the editorial process!