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Copyediting! and Stuff

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Today I returned from school to find that my publishers have finally completed the copyedits for Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse! In publishing, a copyeditor reads a manuscript even deeper than a normal editor does, checking for everything from consistency mistakes to style errors all the way to the gritty commas and exclamation points (of which I had many). A copyeditor also helps me make sure that everything lines up perfectly, and really adds the final bit of polish to the book before it goes off to the printers:

Visualization for what Copyedits do

Visualization for what Copyedits do

So, as today is Friday, and these edits are due on Monday, I am barricading myself in my apartment with the Lemony Snicket soundtrack, as much Anberlin as one soul can take, and all 115,000 words of my book. My goal: to attack it with as much ferocity as I can muster whilst living off microwave Mexican food and macaroni for two days and three nights. My editors left no stone unturned, as evidenced:

Copyedits for The Farfield Curse

Copyedits for The Farfield Curse

Each red marking is from one editor, and each blue marking is from another. I have two days to read and approve each edit — and the photo above is just two pages out of nearly 400! (ADDED: It should be noted, however, that every single quotation mark in this entire novel had to be changed to a different style, so the majority of those marks above are from that!)

It’s actually one of the most important steps in this process. A copyeditor can’t even change anything in the story, but they correct so many tiny mistakes that even after years of my editing, most of the manuscript looks like the two pages above! I have to approve or reject each change to make absolutely sure that everything stays exactly the way I intended when I wrote the book.

In OTHER news, my friend Kaza Kingsley has her first two Erec Rex books being re-released on April 9! Kaza and I met just after I signed with my agent, and I saw her book EREC REX: THE DRAGON’S EYE at a local bookstore and decided on random to write to her. She replied to my email, and we became good friends over the internets (she later got me as the designer for her book’s official website!). By amazing chance, she later signed with my literary agent without even knowing, and he sold her series to Simon & Schuster for re-release. If you like books with epic quests and boy heroes and dragons, you should definitely check her books out next week!

By the way, I had to turn in another project for my photography class today! The assigned concept was to show motion with shutter speed, either by freezing it or by having a little bit of blur. Tell me what you think of these (click to see them bigger):


Galleys for The Farfield Curse!

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The first printed copies of my book are finally here!

Before anyone comments that a plain white cover is very boring, I shall explain. This is not the actual book yet, but what are called bound galleys. As a cheat sheet:

ARC‘s: Advance Reader Copies, sent to Special Peoples before a book comes out.

BOUND GALLEYS: an advance Advance Reader Copy, sent to Really Special People even longer before a book comes out.

WHODUNNIT: what a publisher says when a Bound Galley mysteriously goes missing, coincidentally just after the author receives them in the mail.

The bound galleys are basically just printings of the book, double-spaced, with a softcover wrapped around it and the title slapped on. Even the chapter titles are in a plain, tiny, boring font: much unlike how the finished book will appear!

This, however, marks the first ever edition of  The Farfield Curse to be printed by Sourcebooks, albeit a very small and very unedited version. This also means that things are truly, finally starting to move faster in the preparations for the release. I can’t even begin to describe the huge stuff that my publishers are planning for this release, and it’s getting to be so exciting. I will say that April will be a very big month for everyone who has waited all this time, especially me.

April will also be a very big month for everyone who has waited to see the cover art. And that is all I shall say on that for now 😀

Meeting The Publishers [Video]

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Here’s a video I made while in Illinois meeting my publishers, about the trip and the awesome, hi-tech hotel room that had me never wanting to leave 😀

Back From Chicago!

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The trip to Chicago and Naperville to meet my publishers went wonderfully! So many things happened in 48 hours that I can hardly list them all here. Suffice it to say, from the photos above, that everything went even better than I expected, and this book release is going to be awesome!

Here’s the rundown of the trip. I left Dallas around noon, and arrived a few hours later after a flight filled with turbulence and The Dark Knight on my laptop. When I arrived at the Chicago airport, I was immediately picked up by a sedan. I’ve only been picked up by a sedan once before — this new one was quite different. There was a remote control built into the arm rest that would allow me to change the radio and the temperature of the car, as well as move the driver’s seat forward without even asking — clearly built for those who wish to avoid speaking with the peasants . Also, the car was stocked with magazines one does not normally see. The one I read had an article aimed at those who make over $50 million per year. One listing was selling a jet (yes, a full featured, private jet) and another was a $39 million vacation home in France (note the word vacation).

Bathroom Mirror TV

Bathroom Mirror TV

As evidenced by the photo I brought back, the hotel was wonderful. I got a big screen, HD TV in my room (Norbit was on, ha ha) plus, the infamous Television-In-The-Bathroom-Mirror my Twitter followers have so enjoyed. Whilst brushing my teeth, I managed to catch the news. I don’t know how I would have survived otherwise (I might have been forced to watch the news while not brushing my teeth — the horror!).

The first evening of the trip, my publishers, agent and I met at a wonderful restaurant to discuss plans for the next day’s meetings. I got to talk with my publishers for the first time in person, and meet most of the core team that will be managing my book. They have so many wonderful and exciting ideas coming up, especially with the release only about six months away (this Fall!). It was very odd, since it seemed that nearly everyone in the company had read The Farfield Curse already! I can’t even begin to say how thrilling it was to see how everyone was behind the book.

The Book Cow

The Book Cow

I got a tour of the offices of Sourcebooks while I was there. The most interesting thing of all was the Book Cow, which is covered in writing and stacked high with books on its back. Notice the drum on the left: as my editor explained, it is company tradition that anytime someone has big news, they must immediately dash to the drum and pound it until everyone comes out of their offices to find out what happened. He told me it will get a good beating the day my book is released 😀

Most of what we discussed will be slowly released via my website here and (which will be receiving its new design soon!). However, there are some things I can say. First, the Kaleb Nation Facebook Page (which is being run by the same people who manage the Twilight Facebook with 2 million members!) is now the official page for me on that site! I know many of you have been adding my personal page, but I only add people I personally know: if you join the official page, I check in a lot to see what people are saying.

Another thing, since we have such a short time until the release, I will have many big updates coming up, including things like the release date, the cover art, preorder times, etc. We are planning something at least once a month, so be sure to check back or follow me on Twitter so you get the latest  (the cover art, I will say, should be here VERY soon!). I’ll keep everyone updated!

ADDED: I just realized that I had the meeting with my publishers on March 6 — exactly 1 year after I got the call from my agent saying Sourcebooks was interested in my novel! Fate is a funny thing…