I’m Erin Dealey, and I write books for kids. I’m a teacher, presenter, rhymer, blogger, and proud Drama Mama.

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What to Expect When You’re Expecting–a BOOK! part7 Non-fiction/ 3rd Trimester

October 10, 2013

Welcome to the Third Trimester,

part 7 of my What to Expect blog series.

Party time?

Party time?

The third trimester before our daughter was born was full of celebrations.

The parties helped me wait (and wait and wait) and made me more anxious at the same time. The biggest difference with book-Babies is that it’s best to cradle the new arrival in your arms before the parties begin, and with DECK THE WALLS, we weren’t entirely certain when my books would actually arrive.

It's here now!

They’re here now! Woo-hoo!

With NON-FICTION, however, during the 3rd trimester, expect a LABOR of love.

Just ask today’s guest, my dear friend, Patricia Newman.

Proud mother of two grown “kids,”

Patti Newman and JIngles--the only "kid" still at home.

Patti Newman & Jingles–
the only “kid” still at home.

one dog, and the Regional Advisor of SCBWI California North/Central, Patti is the book-Mom of TWELVE books

nugget on the flight deckNavy Seals


(here are a few)

and countless magazine articles, many of which are non-fiction.

Nugget on the Flight Deck (Walker & Company) is a California Reading Association Eureka! Silver Honor Book for Nonfiction.

Her latest book-Baby, PLASTIC, AHOY! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,

Patti Newman new cover 6.3.13

*a JLG selection*

is due out next April –just in time for Earth Day celebrations!

But the third trimester hasn’t been an easy one for her…

Those who write NON-FICTION know what this means. For those who don’t, here’s Patti’s brief overview of the non-fiction “birthing” process:

1st trimester: the proposal and sale (gestation: a few months to years);

2nd trimester: writing and submitting the manuscript to your editor (gestation: roughly five months).

3rd trimester: editing, photo selection, and design (gestation: six to eight months).

Yes, Virginia–you read that right.

Patti explains:

“After I submitted the complete manuscript, months passed before the project popped up in my editor’s revision queue for the beginning of the third trimester. Suddenly the manuscript did a flip turn and wound up back on my desk! Paragraphs moved, chapters reorganized, new research synthesized, interview notes reviewed, new text added, sentences reworded, tenses modified, source notes appended, bibliography amended, scientists vetted. Phew!”

But that’s not all!

Patti: “Unlike my two previous picture books where I did not have much input on the art, my opinion was solicited and valued with PLASTIC, AHOY! The brilliant designers and production people at Millbrook Press/Lerner Books nurtured my “baby” to term. Together we presided over a host of production decisions: cover choice voting, caption writing, image selecting, image shifting, sidebar designing, source note editing, bio writing, dedication writing. And those were just the ones in which I was involved. The production team made many more decisions behind-the-scenes.”

Non-fiction authors must be READY and WAITING.

Patti: “When a new version of the layout appeared in my inbox, I dropped everything to meet the quick turn-around schedule. Every step of the way the print deadline knocked at our door, building the anticipation and excitement. The third trimester wasn’t easy, but it was thrilling to be so close to the book’s production phase. Next time I sell a nonfiction book I will know how much time to block out for third trimester activities!”

Expect the unexpected, as well:

Part-way through this process, Patti’s editor went on maternity leave!

Patti: “And perhaps the greatest irony of all? My due date is April Fool’s Day.” (No joke!)

Follow Patti on Twitter @PatriciaNewman and check out her books–

*perfect reads for Veteran’s Day!*

Check back next week for What to Expect…part8: After the book is born.


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