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.


Amanda Kendle said...

I'm totally with you on all this - I might be able to write (emphasis on might!) but I sure as heck don't know all the other ins and outs of publishing and when my time comes will be glad of all those other experts.

In the meantime, I love hearing bits of your publishing journey and stuff like them wanting to change the main character's drink of choice is fascinating! Stuff I never thought of. Look forward to hearing more as the big publication date gets closer!

Sioux Roslawski said...

It's like carrying a baby for nine months in the womb, and then giving birth. The doctor's exams come, closer and closer, and when the baby is born, it's painful but so worth it...

Alexis Grant said...

Love a good editor! Happy you're going to share the publishing journey with us :)

Sarah Tokeley said...

It all sounds so exciting doesn't it!

I'm glad you choose the publishing route that works for you. People should do what's best for them, which might be different than other people. That way hopefully they end up where you are, which is happy and excited and full of hope for the future :)

Lane Diamond said...

I must confess that, although you intended to say that traditional publishing is not all bad, it made me more convinved that I don't want to go down that road -- and I mean that even if one siad they're ready to publish my book immediately. I want control of my work. Period. A choice we all have to make, I guess.

Hope Clark said...

Absolutely, Sarah. As a matter of fact, I've agonized over whether to self-publish a nonfiction book or stick to traditional publishing for it, considering the long wait. Each author, each book, merits a long study on which route is best.

Hope Clark said...

And that's the beauty of today's publishing world. I tire of hearing there's a one-size-fits-all standard, when there isn't. Some authors fit best with the Big Six. Others want the mid-press, the small press. Yet others want total control. I, for one, want to delegate the book-making aspects and focus on marketing and writing, not to mention I have FundsforWriters. So traditional floats my boat. To each his own! But...bottom's all in the marketing and platform. If it sells, it's successful. If it doesn't, it isn't, no matter how it's published.

BECKY said...

Wonderful information, Hope! And I love Sioux's's like waiting to give birth!