Hot off the Press

Keepers of the CovenantThere’s nothing quite like opening that first box of books, hot off the press. Keepers of the Covenant may be book #22 for me but I still feel a thrill of accomplishment each time I see my novel for the first time. Back in 1995 when my very first novel, The Lord is My Strength, arrived in the mail, I carried it everywhere with me for two or three days. I even laid it on my bedside table at night so I would see it the moment I woke up. I think I was afraid I’d wake up and discover that it had all been a dream! I’m not quite that obsessive anymore, but I’m still very proud of each book, the culmination of more than a year’s work. Here’s a peek at my timeline:

I began researching Keepers of the Covenant in January of 2013. After a year of writing it, I turned it in to my editor in January of 2014. A month or so later, I received a detailed letter with suggestions for changes to consider and rewrites to make. I completed those about a month later.

In the spring, it was time to talk about the cover design. The art department wanted to go with a design that was similar to Return to Me, the first book in the Restoration Chronicles series, yet different enough to make it obvious that this was a new book. After a few tweaks, the new cover was approved. In the months that followed, I received “galleys” with the edits that my editor and copy editor had made. The galleys come in manuscript form and I was given one last chance to make any changes I wanted to make.

Just as I was relaxing at the beach during the summer months, I received the page proofs to read through. This time each page was laid out and numbered the way it would be in the final book. Only minor changes can be made at this point but of course there’s still time to check for typos and other errors. By now, I was well into the researching and writing of the next book in the series—and trying not to get the two mixed! Keepers of the Covenant features Ezra as the main character, and the book I’m writing now, entitled On This Foundation, features Nehemiah. The two men were contemporaries but had entirely different missions from God.

Now that fall has arrived, it’s time for my finished book to arrive, too. Here are some “behind the scenes” pictures Bethany House sent showing part of their process:

These are overlays from the printer’s proofs showing where the cover enhancements will be positioned. Blue indicates areas of the cover that will be matte, and clear sections indicate areas that will be glossy. The areas in orange indicate which parts of the cover will be raised or embossed.3-mockup

Printer’s Color Proof & Overlays4-cover

These are the printed pages of the book prior to binding.5-inside pages

These are the Printer’s Press Sheet of the Cover – Covers are printed 4-up, and trimmed down into single covers later in the process.6-binding

And here’s that marvelous box of books. TA DA!

1-Book in box

I’ll savor the newness of my book for a while and then it’ll be time to get back to work on the next one. After all, it has to be finished by my January 2015 deadline so the process can start all over again.