The lovely editor of Uniform Behaviour Joins us today for an extra special Friends Thursday!
My First Editing Gig
Editing an anthology has been something I’ve wanted to do for some time. Then it looked as though the dream was going to become reality when a publisher asked me to edit an anthology. Sadly, before that happened they sold the business and I was back to square one.
Being a determined sort of person, the idea never really went away. Then I decided to just go for it – I’d do the whole thing from beginning to end in eBook form and put it out through a distributor that had been recommended to me. Although I wouldn’t be able to see my lovely creation in print form (though never say never!), I would at least have complete control from the call for submissions right through to the final manuscript.
I finally bit the bullet and put together a call for submissions and posted it. Then I stared at my email inbox intently before realising that not even the fastest writers are going to send something immediately – duh! I forced myself to be patient and soon submissions started to appear in my inbox when I was least expecting it.
There was no way I was going to be able to wait until the closing date to start reading. I was far too excited! So I created some Yes, No and Maybe folders on my computer and read them as I received them. Some went into the Yes folder without a moment’s hesitation. Others I deliberated over, mainly due to multiple submissions for the same type of uniform, rather than writing quality.
I didn’t want to start on any cover design until I had a fair few stories in, mainly because I already had a good idea of what I wanted, but it took a while to get a story which actually fitted! I didn’t feel I could have a guy in army uniform on the cover, but no stories with that uniform. Luckily, the soldier stories came in. In fact, I ended up with several, but I accepted three as they’re all so different.
The cover design aspect was fun. I’ve mucked around with graphics programs myself, but I’m totally rubbish. I knew early on that I wanted to have a cover professionally designed. After all, why go to all the trouble of putting the anthology together, getting some fabulous stories from wicked writers and then undersell it with a substandard cover? Never gonna happen. So I got some recommendations. Then after some to-ing and fro-ing, my awesome designer came back with a few designs, one of which was the glorious cover you see today!
Finally, the closing date for submissions arrived. And I didn’t have enough stories. Damn. So I extended it and had the waiting game all over again. Luckily, the extension gave me enough submissions, and they were all fab! Everything was coming together. I decided on the final stories and sent out the acceptance and rejection emails. Needless to say, the rejection emails were by far the worst part of the project.
I wrote my introduction, ordered the stories and started assembling the manuscript. Then a professional-proofreading angel came from the skies and offered to look over it And boy, I’m glad she did. I thought I’d done a good job myself, but when I got her edits back I was very glad of her eagle eyes!
Soon, it was time to write my blurb, which would be appearing on websites everywhere. As someone who has worked in Marketing since leaving University, I wasn’t actually too concerned about this part. I was happy with the result and hope it successfully sells the book! Only time will tell, I guess. With all the admin stuff done, the manuscript complete, cover sorted; it was time to send, send, send to the distributor!
After what felt like forever, but in reality was only a few weeks, the book was released! Uniform Behaviour was alive. Let’s just say I did a great deal of happy dancing that week. I raved online, I Facebooked, I Tweeted, I told everyone who would listen. And so did my lovely authors.
Now, a few short weeks later, I’m still deliriously happy. The reviews have been positive so far and I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved. That’s right, we. Not me. Obviously I had something to do with it, but the book wouldn’t have been possible without the contributing authors, the cover designer, the distributor and my lovely friends who’ve helped with promo and offered advice and encouragement. Uniform Behaviour was most definitely a team effort.
It’s paying off already. Word is getting round about the book, and I’m glad. Not only because it’s my first editing gig, but because the book represents several very important parts of my life. Writing, reading, editing and charity. And not necessarily in that order. I just hope that the first three elements have combined successfully enough that I can be proud of my contribution to the fourth. I say this because, for those of you that don’t know, a percentage of the proceeds from the book will be donated to UK charity Help for Heroes. The organisation raises money for servicemen and women wounded in current conflict. So by purchasing a copy of Uniform Behaviour, you’ll not only get sixteen wonderfully smutty stories, you’ll also get the satisfaction of knowing you’re donating to a very worthy cause. And for that, I thank you.