Saturday, April 22, 2017

LIKES and DISLIKES about publishing process

As the finish line is in sight for publication of THE MOMENT OF TRUTH by Pegasus Books on June 6th, I thought I'd share some of my 'loves' and 'dislikes' on the journey in hopes it will help others about to be published or wanting to get published and/or entertain those interested in the process. LOVES: Amazing high after your agent informs you a publisher wants to publish your book. Working with your agent on the contract. Meeting the people at your publisher over lunch to talk about the novel and exchanging ideas. Makes all the hours spent alone in your writing space worthwhile Working with my editor during the development of the novel. Seeing your novel’s jacket for the first time—that sure is a blood-rush moment—and the publisher actually listening and acting upon some of your suggestions to improve various drafts. (I must point out this was unusual and not all authors get such an experience as some publishers don’t do this.) Seeing the final typeset version of your manuscript on the computer and the colophon you suggested being used to indicate space breaks. Working with the publisher’s marketing people to discuss promotion ideas, etc. Great brain stimulation DISLIKES (and fears): Approaching peers for endorsements (blurbs) because I feel like a beggar and many decline or don’t bother to respond. (That’s not a complaint, just an observation.) There are many reasons why an author won’t blurb: too busy and have their own pressing deadlines; story doesn’t interest them; they get asked by hundreds of people; don’t want to blurb it for personal or professional reasons. Don’t take it personally or you’ll become bitter. Accept and move on. It’s part of the process. And celebrate when you get a great endorsement from a writer who gave his or her time to read your work and tendered the blurb. Make a commitment to do the same and be open to writers if you become well enough known and your opinion is sought. As authors nowadays have to get involved contacting influential book clubs and other important review sites to ask them to read your book or select it as one of their picks, etc—again, one feels like a beggar. View it as just another cog in the publishing machine. Often the response will be ‘no’ or there will be no response, which can disappoint and even hurt. That’s a normal emotion but don’t take it personally. Remember there are hundreds of books released every year and, while your book is your new baby, to them it is just another novel or memoir, etc. The terror when a pre-pub review has been published and you begin reading it. (You will also experience it on the book’s publication as, hopefully, you will get ink in newspapers and magazines, etc.) Whether it is a good or bad review, treat them the same and don’t take it personally. Try not to over celebrate if good and not get despondent or want to cut your wrists if it’s bad. Remember that reviews are subjective. Move on. I said, Move on. And if you’re really sensitive, don’t read reviews—good or bad. Same goes for Amazon reader reviews. And remember there will be trolls on the internet. Do not comment on Amazon or Goodreads. As oxygen gives life to the body, responses give life to trolls.

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