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Swoon Author Maggie Ann Martin: A Q&A with Pre-Pub Maggie and Post-Pub Maggie

Before I started this publishing journey, I had very specific, sometimes tough questions about how the publishing process would pan out. I never felt comfortable asking an author these questions outright in a public forum, so I’m here to answer all of the hard questions for you!

How often did you check the Swoon Reads site for comments?

At least twice a day. I would stalk the graph that tracked where people would stop reading, and try to figure out why they dropped off there. I thought a lot about how I could keep them hooked for longer. That graph actually helped me a lot when I went through edits!

How many times did you convince yourself after the book deal call that it was all a big joke that they would take back?

Too many times to count. I still sometimes feel like this is a wildly vivid dream that I’ve yet to wake up from. Does this ever go away? #askingforafriend

How was your edit letter? Was it scary?

It was actually not scary at all! My editor was very lovely and had the best vision for the book. You can read all about it here. ;)

How many rounds of edits did you go through? How were they?

The Big F went through two big rounds of developmental edits, then two rounds of copyediting. The first round was a bit more difficult because I was taking out an entire character and switching around the order of a lot of events. The second round was where the fun was when I got to dig in and refine scenes. My very favorite scene of the book came out of my second round of developmental edits.

How terrible were copy edits?

Copyeditors are magical wizards, and I’m eternally grateful for their work. Overall, so not terrible. The process for me was a lot of going through suggested changes and saying “oh, yep, I did mean sweat and not sweet there.”

But did you really like the cover that got picked in voting?

This was my absolute biggest fear. I knew that the Swoon Reads design team was amazing, but I thought that for sure I’d have the one book that I wouldn’t like any of the options for. Silly me for being worried. I ended up being super lucky and loved all three! I let the Swoon Reads community make the tough decision!  

How did you feel when your ARCs came in the mail?

Pure joy! I can’t describe the feeling of seeing my book as a book for the first time. It was unreal.

What if no one requests your ARC?

People will. Look at that adorable cover. How could they not want to read it?  

What if no one likes your ARC?

Not everyone will, but that’s the whole publishing deal. You can’t please everyone! But there will be people who absolutely love it and identify with your characters, and that’s why you write.

Will you let your mom read it?

Yes. And my grandpa, too.

How did you feel when you got your box of finished copies?

Elated. I miiight have posed for a picture in a pile of them.

What is release day like? Did panic ensue?

Everyone was so lovely on release day. While I did have a moment where the thought “oh good god, everyone and their dog will be able to read my book today,” the rest was smooth sailing.

Have any other questions about the Swoon Reads process or the publishing process that you’ve been too scared to ask? Leave me your best in the comments.

Author spotlight

Maggie Ann Martin

Maggie Ann Martin hails from Iowa City, Iowa but moonlights as a New Yorker. She has a shiny new BA ...

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