Your manuscript is a word processor file, but you want to have a killer title and amazing cover art and be easy to read on the inside. That’s what book designers do.

I delivered my second book, the sequel to The Guilty Die Twice, back in early July. It was several months late, and a first draft. Like… a for-real, no-shit first draft. My previous book was a ninth draft by the time I submitted it to my publisher, so this one is eight drafts behind. It needed work.

Luckily, I know a fantastic developmental editor. I engaged him, and sent that first draft off like I was sending my firstborn to summer camp. Or Marine boot camp.

Today, I got the editorial letter back, along with the dev edits. I did a quick read of the letter, and I agreed with everything he said in it. I used to be an actor, I can take a note. My task for the next few weeks is to re-work that first draft into a really tight, gripping second draft.

Someone asked me recently how I deal with feedback from editors. I welcome it, especially when that feedback comes from someone whose judgement I trust. The issue I’ve seen with many successful writers is that people (editors, publishers, reviewers) stop giving them honest feedback. They can publish any garbage and someone will buy it, so that’s exactly what they do. I will work very, very hard to make sure that’s not my fate.

He also came up with a great working title that is now the real title: Innocent Blood.

I’ll keep posting on the process for this book, just like I did the last one.

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My novel has a new title!

As is fairly common, my publisher retains the rights to re-name my work. This is actually a good thing for me because:

  • They have a finger on the pulse of the market and can come up with a title that will grab eyeballs and sell.
  • I suck at titles.

At first the new title didn’t send me. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. Over the past week, however, I have come to like it. It’s got a noir feel to it, and while my novel is decidedly not Chandleresque, in the plot there are a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-yous, so I think the title is appropriate. Maybe even a little foreshadowing.

My publisher came up with a new title, sub-title, and series title. Yes, this is a series, at least three books. I’m working on the outline for the second book right now.

Title: The Guilty Die Twice
Sub: A Legal Thriller
Series: Brothers in Law Series

Since dev edits are done, we’re closer to a publishing date. I’ll keep you posted on when that might be. A few more months at least, I think.

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