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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Writing Business Lesson

I received a vivid reminder not to assume facts without some evidence. I’m not sure I would have handled the situation any differently though. When I sent in my second round of edits for COLD BLOODED, my writer/assassin novel, I didn’t follow up for many months even though my editor had responded quickly after the first round. My reasoning was all the cautions about not hounding your editor. Couple that with the present market in publishing and economic downturn we’re in. I figured COLD BLOODED was maybe pushed back in the line until the economy improved.
When I finally decided to start pushing in December to the next step up in the publishing house my e-mail went without a response so I resent it. I received a very nice response about e-mails in the thousands and that my novel was found in the database. My first editor had suffered a personal family loss and had subsequently disappeared. They offered to release my rights or because they don’t offer contracts lightly I was invited to resubmit my second round of edits and notes.
Having no luck with the other six manuscripts on the query trail I was happy they were still interested and resubmitted all the materials. This was a learning experience. I need to be more forthright in this business, especially since stuff like this probably happens a lot because publishing enterprises are made up of people who do have personal lives. I admit to thinking when there was no response to my second round of edits the e-book publisher had lost interest in my very violent novel. I had defended my nearly psychopathic hero Nick to the editor. I explained how the woman in witness protection and her little girl grew nearer to his way of thinking as they are all hunted while Nick’s hard edges began to soften. The violence in the book could not be tempered without dulling the message and the plot – namely, we all have a little Nick inside us, especially when our lives are at stake, and even a cold blooded assassin may have more inside than a skill to kill. Anyway, it was an upbeat piece of news I hope will put COLD BLOODED in the e-published realm eventually. Lesson learned. :)


Jordan Summers said...

You definitely have to keep on top of EVERYTHING in publishing these days. My story for the Blood Lite anthology had been lost. Had I not contacted the editor, I would've never known that was the case.

raine said...

It happens.
It happens a LOT.
A lot.
I could tell you stories.
I'm glad you decided to resubmit, Bernard.
Best of luck! :)

Bernita said...

Oh I hope so, Bernard!
Nick is a great character!

I could tell a story too.
It really is necessary to nag in a resonable time and manner.

BernardL said...

I will be a pest from now on, Jordan. :)

Thanks, Raine, it's good to hear I'm not the only one. I bet Stephen King doesn't putz around for months waiting for word. I'll try to be more like him. :)

Nick's one of my favorites, Bernita. This was my fault though. I must nag.

Charles Gramlich said...

At both big presses and small presses the turnover in personell is often very rapid. I'm like you. I don't like to hound folks, but there is a middle ground and it's probably better to err on the side of safe than sorry.

BernardL said...

I overdid my reluctance to hound this time for sure, Charles. :)