From acceptance to publication



Over the weekend I finished correcting first proofs of THE USUAL STORY, a prequel to THE CRYSTAL BALLROOM and posted them back to Ginninderra Press in Adelaide. Final proofs next. We’re on track for a July release. An exciting time.

red and black book cover The Crystal Ballroom

This is my third book, so I’m getting used to the publication process. After acceptance of the manuscript by Ginninderra Press in July 2017, eight months later I received first proofs. These I’ve read and corrected.

In the meantime we have been discussing the cover image. Ginninderra Press is a small but prestigious publisher and I’m able to have a say in cover design. This doesn’t happen with a larger publisher. I am also in communication with GP about a quote to put on the front cover to attract sales and a blurb for the back cover.

Blurbs are very difficult to write. I had a chat with my good friend the talented author Susanne Gervay today about my blurb. She did a brainstorming session with me and I think we’ve got a few lines together that will make people want to read the book.

first proofs, The Usual Story by Libby Sommer

Actually, first draft of the blurb is:

‘Tango is the dance of passion, forcing partners into an intimate relationship. Sofia loves the tango, but at the dances she comes face to face with the truth of her aging in today’s culture that has very little use for anything that is not young.’

What do you think? I would LOVE some feedback on this blurb. Please give me your response in the comments section. I’m not a good big-picture-person like my friend Susanne. I’m more into observing small details, which is good for prose and poetry but not for writing pitches and blurbs.

I asked Les Murray, Nobel Prize nominee for Literature, who is also Literary Editor of Quadrant magazine, if he would read THE USUAL STORY and write a couple of lines for the back cover. He said yes. Wow! I’m so delighted. He knows my work well having published many of my short stories and poems. So first proofs have also been posted to him.

So that’s front and back cover. And then there’s a dedication page to be added, acknowledgements, etc.  Versions of three of the chapters in THE USUAL STORY were first published in Quadrant so this needs to be acknowledged.

Then comes final proofs. Professional proof readers are very expensive so I’m hoping my eldest son with the PhD will proof read for me this time. TBA.

Then comes Cover Release with a big beat up on social media. I post regularly on Instagram and Facebook and less regularly on Twitter and Pinterest. I think the cover looks terrific. It’s not all finalised yet. I asked two tango dancers I know for copyright clearance on one of their images that shows the two of them dancing the tango. It’s one of the photos they use to promote their classes at A Little Buenos Aires. They said yes, as long as I acknowledge copyright ownership. So that’s great. It’s an eye-catching pic and would look good beside THE CRYSTAL BALLROOM in book stores.

Next step is pre-release copies announcement. Social media again.

Then details of the release date of THE USUAL STORY. Champagne and balloons and a lot of brouhaha when the book is finally available to the public.

I am not planning to have a book launch. Unfortunately, I am a very shy person and hate being the centre of attention. I had a launch for my first book and it was very successful. However, I was so anxious I thought I was having a heart attack. So not doing that again. A shame because book launches are a good way to sell books. Because this book also features a lot of tango dancing, I am thinking I could have a soft launch at a milonga or tango dance. Just a slice of chocolate cake and a glass of champagne at half time. Or not.

28 thoughts on “From acceptance to publication

  1. Well done Libby, I’m following your site with great interest, and looking forward to reading your book’s. And thank you for following my blog/website, muchly appreciated, I hope you enjoy reading my humble writings. I’m from Geelong, Victoria. Cheers. Ivor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulous. a reblog. author gold. thank you so muchClaire. and thanks for your encouragement re having a launch. i’m still agonising about it. maybe i could manage a short reading at the local book shop. must go up and have a chat with them. i live in Sydney, Australia and my local book store is Harry Hartog at Bondi Junction. they have been very supportive of me in the past and stock my books. they were the bookseller at the first launch that i had in the local library. an experienced speaker friend has offered to launch the book. so … what’s stopping me?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are more than welcome Libby. I’d like to invite you to my free marketing magazine as well, we put out links for new releases, events, interviews etc. You you need to do is join the group and sign up for the magazine so you can share your news with everyone.

        As for the book launch 🙂 Nothing is stopping you. My first launch was a disaster and though it put me off I will do one again at some stage. They terrify me. I’m much better behind the screen of a computer…lol. Needless to say I have supported local clients where I could attend and they were brilliant. You can do this. A reading sounds great. See if you can attend a book fair, those help with your confidence. Make sure you have some swag….bookmarks and perhaps a competition. You’ll be amazed, especially since you have such a supportive bookstore. Good luck 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love everything about this. I’m a former professional ballroom dancer and there just aren’t many books out there about our profession.

    The blurb is great. I’d make only one change: “she comes face to face with the truth of her aging ” Instead: “she must face the truth of her aging…” Now, I’ve been accused of being too tight in my prose so I could be all wrong!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. ‘Tango, the dance of passion. Partners forced into an intimate relationship. Sofia loves the tango, but at the dances she comes face to face with the truth of her aging in a culture with little use for anything not young.’ ???

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks Libby, this is a useful guide. My book will be out just a bit before yours. I was going to ask you about book launches, and am disappointed you’re not having one. I might try and talk you into it at SWW. Re the blurb: I’m not sure about “anything not young” – anyone rather than anything? I think that depersonalises it. Congratulations on getting Les Murray to read it, and maybe give you a quote. I hope he does.


    1. that’s great feedback Pippa. i’m so pleased i asked for comments on the blurb. ‘anyone’ is much better than ‘anything’. yes, let’s have a chat at next Society of Women Writers event. thanks again.


  5. My two cents would be to agree with a couple of the previous comments about the ‘not young’ which sends a subtly negative message, as if you are covertly defensive about ageing, which I’m sure the book isn’t. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post! I personally love the blurb. Its descriptive without alienating people who don’t know much about dancing or the tango. I also like the way you go about addressing the question of youth.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good luck Libby, many congratulations! and wishing you a great launch however you decide to go about it.( I’d feel the same about the public side of things, though it sounds like you have a good existing platform for this to take advantage of) Very best wishes :>)

    Liked by 1 person

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