Thursday, July 5, 2012

Oh, how I love a small press - part 1

Writers are a strange bunch of people.

Even though we admit to hearing voices in our heads, we are not committed to institutions.  Indeed, we are paid good money1 to talk to and about imaginary people as if they were real.

I am friends with many writers.  It helps to keep me sane.  We cheer each other, help each other, and commiserate with each other.

We also complain.  A lot.

For many published authors, publishers bear the brunt of the complaints.  Publishing houses don't give authors a large enough percentage of the book's list price. They want authors to revise books too much.  They don't consult authors enough about cover art.  They expect authors to do too much promotion.

That's why I love Spencer Hill Press (SHP).  They haven't done anything for me to complain about.  At least, not so far :)

The day after I accepted their book offer, SHP's senior editor called me and asked what I wanted for cover art.  Yes, she did.  Tuesday, the cover designer/photographer (Coe) called me to discuss my thoughts about the cover, what the main characters looked like, and what clothes I envisioned them (the models!) wearing.  Coe knows many Revolutionary War re-enactors, so she doesn't anticipate any problems with finding a costume for my heroine.

We then spent time discussing the two protagonists' interactions with each other over the course of the book--to make sure the cover captures the essence of their relationship. (Sigh!)   Coe is going to generate some sketches of her ideas and send them to me.

I can't wait to see what she does.

Today, I received email from the PR specialist.  The book won't release for another sixteen months, and we are already talking about promotion opportunities.

I love this job.  So far :)

1 Contrary to public belief, the vast majority of writers cannot quit their day jobs.  We talk about royalties in terms of figures: four-figures ($0-$9999), five figures ($10k -< $100k), etc. It is rare for authors to get 6- or 7- figure sales for their books.  Trust me, the reading public has heard about every one of the 7-figure authors (all five of them :).

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