I belong to No One to be Published in July 2015

2015-02-12 Hachette Flowers 001

 

These beautiful flowers are a gift from my publisher. Yes, you read that right dear readers. In July, Hachette Australia will release my memoir, I Belong to No One, as a paperback and ebook simultaneously. Set in 1960s and 1970s Australia, it is an emotionally engaging tale of a time when women were trapped by the shameful secrets of teen pregnancy, illegitimacy and domestic abuse. As events unfold, the reader gains insight into the reason our former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, issued an apology to all those affected by the practices of Forced Adoption. It is a story of loss, but it is also a story of triumph over adversity, and I hope many people will be touched and comforted through reading it.

Recently, I had my first official meeting with Hachette, where I was guided through what to expect in the run-up to publication and the first months following release. They are working on the back cover blurb – which is a good thing – because I found writing a synopsis harder than writing the book, and the idea of condensing the synopsis into an attention grabbing few paragraphs had my head in a spin. I should also have the finalised cover in the next month.

At the meeting, my publisher at Hachette was very supportive. She stressed to me that I should celebrate every step of the way, and reminded me, in the nicest possible way, what an achievement it is to secure a publishing contract in today’s climate. Hear, hear!

Really, it is still difficult to absorb this is really happening to me. A career in shipping and logistics hardly prepared me for this experience, so every step of the journey is a brand new day. It is quite a ride.

I can confess now that I was unable to blog for a couple of months as I was head down, nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel, bum on seat, fingers glued to laptop etc. etc., soldiering on through yet another edit of my memoir. I had already self-edited to the point where I felt I could do no more, at which time I sent the manuscript to a professional for appraisal. That resulted in another edit, which then led on to another manuscript appraisal with a different editor, who then worked with me to get it to publishable standard.

Last year fellow blogger Sandra Danby wrote an excellent post on her experience of copy-editing her novel Ignoring Gravity. You can be sure I had already taken on board what she had to say. Sandra also kindly announced my publication in her ‘new books coming soon’ section last February 22nd. Thank you Sandra!

The difference with the most recent edit is that I was responding to the publisher’s copy editor. Then in today’s mail I have received what is called first page proofs. Now the layout looks as it would if it was in a printed book. I have glanced through the stack, and it looks – different. No longer is it a manuscript in Times New Roman 12. No longer is it double-spaced on A4 paper. I have spent so many, many years looking at a manuscript, and now . . . gosh. Well, it is no longer my baby, that is for sure. It seems to have turned into a teenager overnight, a stranger inhabiting the body of the child you thought you knew so well. Now I have to look at it very, very critically making sure my changes have been interpreted correctly, and looking for proof reading errors.

I have a publisher, (she sighs and looks dreamy) . . . picture insecure debut author dancing around the laptop. A little celebration before the hard work of proof-reading begins.

56 thoughts on “I belong to No One to be Published in July 2015

  1. Please continue to share this success. Who autographs your book, the press interviews! The book launches! The signing…all ahead of you. How exciting!

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    • Hard to believe it is really happening Lynda. But I am certainly past the point of no return now, so I will definitely be blogging more about it between now and publication date. Hope you might make it to a signing one day, cheers Gwen

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    • Thank you so much. I just this afternoon put the manuscript back into the post destined for the publisher. Now I get a few weeks free before the second proof reading stage. It certainly has required a lot of perseverance to get to this stage. I can even admit that to myself now 🙂

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  2. WOW !!!! CONGRATULATIONS Maria!!!!! Well done! Your dedication and efforts have paid off!!!!
    I am very proud of you and of what you have achieved….now you can spread your wings and aim for the stars….am sure you will make it big. Will look into buying the book when I come to Australia in July. Big hug.

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    • Thanks for your wonderful congratulations. It has been a lot of work and actually I am kind of proud of myself for staying at it. I didn’t know you were due back here in July. I am thinking of having the launch on Saturday 11th, at Wollongong. Xxx M

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  3. Cannot wait to see the finished copy being passed to me at my local independent bookseller!

    Congratulations Gwen! I never doubted for a moment that this would be your outcome. Cully sends the BIG tail thumps! xx

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  4. WELL DONE, Gwen!!! What lovely flowers and so well deserved – you have worked so diligently to get to this stage. ENJOY all of it!!! We’re by your side all the way – with love – Jojo

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  5. CONGRATULATIONS GG!! I KNEW YOU HAD IN YOU AND COULD DO IT!! I’m sitting here shedding a tear at your marvellous news.Will Bill still be able to live with you? The flowers ARE lovely but you deserve lots more. Hope to get my copy autographed when I’m down your way. Do you have to do a sales pitch at book stores signing copies? Wow it’s so exciting. Consider yourself well hugged for well done!

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    • Hi Jo, oh so great to hear from you and what a lovely message. Of course I will autograph a book! (note to self, must practice handwriting). I think I will do a launch here around second Saturday in July by the way. But nothing set in stone yet. Going around the country is also on the cards. The publicity person will kick off the mainstream media and also help with arranging appearances elsewhere. Bill is being tremendously supportive. Always has been with all the practical things, but now he is buying into the ‘journey’ as well. I feel your virtual hug and bask in the warmth of your welcome feedback! Xxxx GG

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    • Sue, I would love to hear your feedback in due course! And I am following your travels with amazement. I have to say that for once, I am not drooling to actually be on the journey. I am not sure my lungs could take the high altitudes, and I am very sure my legs would never cope with the tremendous hikes you are doing, so I am delighted you are bringing it back to us sitting in comfort at our laptops.

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  6. Heaps of congratulations, Gwen – I’m so pleased for you and you deserve to get published after all your hard work and patience. Question is, is Bill properly prepared to be your road manager?? It’s quite a responsibility shepherding a breakthrough author across a continent!! Seriously, I hope it all goes really well – all best, Agnes.

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    • Thanks for the congratulations, it means a lot to me. You have been a loyal fellow blogger from when I first started posting, so you well know this has been bubbling along for a long time with never any guarantee of success. Little by little, Bill is coming on board in a big way. Can you believe he already started a proof read? Who knows what is ahead for us, but it is not out of the question that we can at least combine some road trips with library and Probus talks. But that hardly touches NSW, let alone the rest of the country. Uncharted territory, that’s for sure.

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  7. Congratulations, Gwen. I can’t wait to read your book after having a tantalizing read of a couple of pages when we were in Paris. I will recommend it far and wide in Central Queensland – perhaps you would consider doing a promotional tour up this way.

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