Friday, 7 September 2012

Working Behind the Scenes

Today I received this email from Paul, the PR guy at Wild Wolf, in response to my sending him Jodi Hanson's address as a preferred reviewer.

"Hi, Chuck,
That's great - all the help we can get in marketing your book does make all the difference.
I am starting to formulate a marketing plan for your title, so any suggestions like this one will be incorporated into it.
Cheers and welcome aboard,"

"I am starting to formulate a marketing plan for your title..." I think that sounds soooo cool, especially the "marketing plan" part. How best to convey just how awesomely cool that is?

Okay, let's try this: I finished the rough draft of Charlie Smithers in January, '08, and deemed it suitable to be sent off to publishers in February, '09. Since then it has been submitted fifteen times (including to Wild Wolf in May, 2011...which should give you an idea of how long the selection process takes, as well as the chances of its being accepted).

Now, if you are a layperson, the thing you need to understand about submitting a novel is that, initially, not all of it is sent - only the first two or three chapters. If the editors wish to read the entire manuscript, they will ask for it at a later date, but in spite of many hand-written notes of encouragement from various editors, insofar as this novel is concerned (and which I was informed by other writer's that these were 'gold'), they never did, until Sam contacted me a few months ago. That means that in all the intervening years, after all the painstaking effort - the research, re-writes and constantly, constantly, CONSTANTLY ironing out wrinkles, the number of people who have actually read the book in its entirety could be counted on the fingers of one hand...and still have enough left over to give a "Peace" sign, without ever needing to include the thumb.

In whatever form it takes, the paramount reason for the existence of the written word is for it to be read. Prior to this point, outside of my friend, Amber, and her daughter, Deb, (my two most loyal readers, and in Amber's case - most uncompromising critic) that simply hadn't happened.

But now that someone has finally considered it worthwhile to ask to see the other eighteen chapters (and ultimately found them to be "well-written and engaging"), it's full speed ahead. Currently, there is a team formulating a "marketing plan", another engaged in editing, and still yet another assessing the book design - in short, after such a long period of being fastidiously ignored, and time and time again being deemed as unworthy by others (in spite of the fact that, more often than not, they too found the sample sent to them "well-written and engaging"), at long last, it is being lauded with attention prior to being sent out into the world, where it will be given the chance to receive even more.

So yeah, I think that's very cool...and in my opinion, long overdue.

PS: BTW, thanks Jodi. Not for the review (that would be like counting chickens before they're hatched) but for offering to write it. Yet another selfless gesture, my friend.

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