Waiting for new books to come out can seem like forever! However, the final steps to publication certainly make it feel like the books are coming closer to completion. Last week three of my new books due in the fall of 2008 kept me busy.

Before a book comes out, it’s put together in a galley, which with modern printing is generally a PDF document with the book pages and illustrations set up exactly how they’ll look in the finished book. I received two galleys last week &#8212 one for Longhorns and Outlaws and one for Issues that Concern You: Choosing a Career.

Longhorns and Outlaws is historical fiction set in the old west, so going through the galleys my job was to do one very last, last line edit to hope that between all the editorial staff and I, that we’ve found every missing quotation mark or typing error. So, I read very carefully, and only ended up with five tiny corrections. I printed off the pages they were on and dropped them off at Coteau’s office in Regina, so the final galleys can be created and sent off to the printer.

The book, Issues that Concern You: Choosing a Career is a nonfiction book that I edited, or put together. I gathered a variety of articles (the publisher gets permission to reprint the pieces) giving various perspectives on all the things young teens should think about when choosing a career, and then wrote the front and back matter to tie it all together. Issues books also contain illustrations, so when I look through the galleys it’s very exciting, since it’s my first look at how the finished book will look. My job going through is to make sure everything looks perfect!

Finally, I also had to write a 60 word biography for Science Solves It All: Sports Champions, which is a nonfiction high interest book for young readers coming out from Crabtree Publishing in the fall. The fun part of writing your own bio blurbs is that you can pick and choose from your own experiences to tell the readers of a particular book what they might find most interesting about you. Of course I used a very different write-up for the sports book than the historical fiction one set in the old west with cowboys on a cattle drive.

So, these three books are much closer to coming out!

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