Thursday, September 20, 2018

Many steps from idea to published book, by Myra Johnson

This week I’m finishing up the first round of editorial revisions on my next Love Inspired romance. The beautiful thing about working with an editor is the powerful synergy that comes from sharing ideas. My editor never pushes me to use her exact suggestions. Instead, she points out weak areas in the plot and characterization, then offers her thoughts about possible fixes. I use those ideas as jumping-off points to brainstorm changes that will address the problems while best preserving my vision for the story.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
There will be more back-and-forth as the manuscript is polished and the final text proofread, but all those extra eyes on every page help to ensure a book worthy of the Love Inspired imprint. Yes, the occasional typo, research error, or cover art discrepancy is bound to slip through, because we’re all just human beings, each of us doing our best to provide an enjoyable and inspiring reading experience.

And the Love Inspired readership is a voracious bunch! It still amazes me to realize Harlequin publishes SIX brand new Love Inspired romances and SIX Love Inspired Suspense novels every month! That’s a lot of hours logged by writers, editors, copyeditors, and proofreaders, plus the art and marketing departments and everyone else involved from the germ of an idea in the author’s mind until it becomes the published book you’re holding in your hands.

12 books a month = 144 books a year!
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Readers, what questions have you always wanted to ask about the book publishing process?

Authors, which aspects of publishing have taken you most by surprise?


Myra Johnson writes emotionally gripping stories about love, life, and faith. She’s currently at work on a new Love Inspired mini-series, Hill Country Haven, with returning characters from Her Hill Country Cowboy and Hill Country Reunion. The first book in the series has been officially titled The Rancher’s Redemption and is currently slated for a May 2019 release.

Myra is a three-time Maggie Awards finalist, two-time finalist for the prestigious ACFW Carol Awards, winner of Christian Retailing’s Best for historical fiction, and winner in the Inspirational category of the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards. Originally from Texas but now residing in the beautiful Carolinas, Myra and her husband love the climate and scenery, but they may never get used to the pulled pork Carolinians call “barbecue”! The Johnsons share their home with two very pampered rescue dogs who don’t always understand the meaning of “Mom’s trying to write.” They’ve also inherited the cute little cat (complete with attitude) their daughter and family had to leave behind when they moved overseas.

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  1. I love the attention LI gives to each book. From my count, the manuscripts are reviewed and edited by six different people before they get the nod for publication. Often various copyeditors will find a question they need answered as they give that final read through to one of my stories...and I love that the author is always the one making the changes. The editors suggest, as you mentioned in this blog post. I'm thrilled to have my stories published by LI. A dream come true, for sure.

    Looking forward to your next release, Myra! You're a talented author and I always enjoy your stories!

    1. THanks, Debby! It’s really a pleasure to be a Love Inspired author and work with such an amazing team.

      Missing you at ACFW and hope to see you soon!

      (I tried to post this reply a couple of days ago and just saw it hadn’t gone through.)

  2. I feel the same way about my editor. I feel she "gets" me and my writing more than anyone else ever has in the industry.

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