Wednesday, July 06, 2011
The Status of My Book - or - the Traditional Wait in a World of Hurry Up
Recently, I had a long let's-catch-up-on-things chat with my editor at Bell Bridge Books. For those of you who do not know (I hope that's very few), my agent landed a contract for my mystery with BBB last December.
First, before you misconstrue my remarks, I adore BBB. I like their founding premise steeped in quality Southern fiction. The founders and editors have published hundreds of books amongst them, and they are strong characters, aimed at making a splash in the world. They've been around over a decade, making a difference. In essence, my kind of people.
The tentative title was Hog-Tied. Scratch that! I loved the title, but understood the explanation that some people don't think fondly of hogs. Hmm, okay.
Scratch the beer. Make the protagonist drink wine. Awww. Women drink beer in the South. Yeah, they drink wine, too, but she isn't prim and proper. Ooh, I got it. How about she drinks wine like her mother taught her and bourbon like her dad?
Scratch the steamy scene. Damn! Well, make it steamy but not, you know, all the way steamy? That was harder to do.
Those were just a few of the suggestions. I saw the logic in 99% of them. No, my creative genius hasn't been dampened (someone asked me that in my writer's group). I fully understand that I'm the novelist - they're the publishers. I signed with them knowing that they are the experts in knowing what the market will bear.
We've had one general edit. I'll have a line edit soon. Then another. Then a clean edit will go to a copyeditor. I'll review another copy for errors. Later I'll get a page proof to review again. I think you get the picture.
We're collecting ideas for title and cover now. They'll seek my input, but they will make the final decisions.
The release date is February 2012.
I sense a lot more interaction in the near future. A lot of get-back-to-me-ASAP expected. And I'm tickled to pieces about the whole affair. It's a collaboration of people who all love this book. Gives me goose bumps.
And that's one of the many reasons I chose traditional publishing. These days self-publishing makes everyone hungry to publish in a matter of weeks, even days. Get it out. Sell it. Get out another. Sell it. Build that backlist. Sell it. Rush, rush, rush.
Most people gripe about the way traditional publishing drags its feet. I do not. Not only do they edit my story to a fine point, but they have knowledge that far surpasses mine and access to more tricks and talent than I do. I do not have to take time away from writing, promoting and FundsforWriters to learn how to format for Kindle, hire a graphic illustrator for a cover, buy ISBNs, or haggle with a printer.
It's how I imagined my life as a writer. I write, they publish. Both of us promote the book. Win-win.
It's just that in this day of self-publishing, when everyone thinks it's the best way to go, I wanted to say that I love my choice. And I'm willing to be patient throughout the process. There's a comfort level there that I love knowing I'm part of a team and not the lone mule carrying the entire load.