Even though this is my third book, I have, nevertheless, still been astonished at just how much work there is still to do after finishing the first draft of the manuscript before one can finally push the button to release a book for publication. Firstly, I always ask for an independent assessment of the manuscript by a literary consultant. They’ll give an unbiased, and sometimes painful, assessment of where the story, characters, and narrative need improvement. Once I have stopped fuming about how they don’t know what they are talking about, I calm down and read their comments carefully and invariably decide that, actually, they do have one or two good points. I then embark on the rewrites necessary to polish the manuscript to achieve its full potential.
Once the manuscript is ‘finished’ I submit it for copyediting. This is where an experienced copyeditor goes through it with a fine-toothed comb to check for typos, grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors as well as any clunky or ambiguous syntax. Actually, I think my grasp of grammar, spelling, and punctuation is pretty good so I rarely find the copyeditor is telling me something I don’t know, but they always find tons of unintentional errors.
OK, so next is typesetting. This is basically rearranging the layout of the text on the page to make it suitable for a printed book of the size specified (in my case 6×9″). Actually, for my third book ‘Chinese Whispers’ I realised that this is something I can do for myself, so I dispensed with the services of a typesetter.
Then comes file conversion. For the paperback version a pdf file needs to be created from the typeset Word document, and for the kindle version a mobi file needs to be made. I know my limitations, so entrust these tasks to the professionals! Once all this has been done I arrange for a ‘proof’ copy of both paperback and kindle versions to be created. This is, essentially, a preview of the versions which will be released to my readers.
Finally comes ‘proofreading’ a final read through the ready-to-publish versions in case any last typos etc. still lurk in there. Guess what? I had to go through proofreading and revision twice before I was happy to release the book.
But now I’m finally there! For those of you who have already read my previous two books you may be surprised at the direction taken in ‘Chinese Whispers’. Whilst it does continue on from the previous books, together with some of the same characters, it moves away somewhat from the ‘Business/Boardroom/Financial Thriller’ format and veers towards mainstream ‘Action Thriller’ territory. I hope you like it!