Cover Me

JT Ellison

One fun aspect of being a first time novelist is learning
the internal publishing ropes. I’ve just passed a major milestone – the
 of ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS are finished and have been turned in to my editor at
Mira. Whoo-hoo!

This was by far the most difficult step I’ve faced in the
process. It took me three days to go through all the notes, changing a word
here or there, striking a repeated sentence, double-checking tertiary character
names. It’s amazing what these copyeditors catch. You see so many readers on
the webthreads discussing errors in manuscripts, and I hate to be culpable for
any reader distress. You have to wonder, though, if they knew what went into
these pages, understood the process and the care taken by the publisher to make
the book error free and pretty, maybe they’d cut us a little slack.

The term STET, Latin for "To Let Stand," is now my best friend. Especially because
I’m writing a novel based in the South with some lesser-known southern
vernacular. Our colloquialisms seem strange to many outsiders, including
copyeditors from New York.

I’m at the point where I can no longer hold back. I’ve got
my cover. I’ve had it for a couple of months, and have been sitting on it
because . . . well, I don’t know why. Newbie terrors, the sense that you’re
going to wake up and find out all of this is a dream? It certainly feels that
way sometimes.

I’m beyond thrilled with the art. My editor sent it to me
and I about passed out from sheer joy. It captured the essence of the book in a way
I could have never begun to suggest. It’s time to share. This book is
happening, and there’s no sense holding back any longer.

Without further ado . . .


I leave you with a thought that sums up the current
experience quite well.

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends —
It gives a lovely light!

            — First Fig, Edna St. Vincent Millay

Wine of the week: Vitiano Falesco

24 thoughts on “Cover Me

  1. Regina Harvey

    Creepy cover! I love the way the words are just scratched on the cover. And then the background hand…Gives me shivers!

    Each stage of the game must be so exciting and each fraught with those “newbie terrors.” Seems like you’ll do fine, though – with a cover like that, you’re ahead of the game.

  2. B.G. Ritts

    It appears that no one who picks up the book will have any trouble telling what sort of story is inside. The graphic, scratched letters, and color wash all say spine-chilling. It’s a vivid, gripping cover, JT.

  3. JT Ellison

    Louise, that’s a great blog by the sisters.

    I was very pleased with my copyeditor. She definitely got it. The one big idiom she marked was the very southern term “the bed.” As in, “I got in the bed,” or “I couldn’t manage to get myself out of the bed this morning.”

    It’s one of those bizarre little things they say here that sounds so wrong but worms it’s way into your head. Similar to all y’all.

    All in all, it was a very interesting experience. I learned a bunch of typesetting tricks too, so I hope to decrease their workload for the second book! I’d love to see a copyedited version of one of my manuscripts that wasn’t bleeding.

  4. Deb Kristy

    Oh my god! It’s GORGEOUS!!! Wow, I mean, WOW. That is going to absolutely POP on the shelf (TABLE!). And it scared me all over again! Congratulations, JT, that’s a stunner 😀

  5. JT Ellison

    You guys sure know how to make a girl feel good. So far so good, right?Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. I’ll be back in the morning to see what our resident Dylan Thomas has to say.xo

  6. patry

    First of all: Absolutely LOVE the cover! Very eye catcihng and unique.

    And secondly, a strange coincidence? I woke up with that exact poem in my brain this morning.Wonder why…

  7. Allison Brennan

    FANTASTIC COVER!!!!! I love it!

    Congrats on the copyedits. I was scared to death the first time I touched copyedits. It’s still the scariest part of the process for me. Writing, revisions, no problem. I’m even good at proofreading the galleys and catching problems. But copyedits? Ugh.


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