Saturday, June 18, 2016

PART 2: The Publishing Gods: New Book! I LOVE YOU TOO, I LOVE YOU THREE, Coming Fall 2016


Are there publishing Gods? Definitely... They somehow guide your manuscript into the hands of people who see what brilliance lies beneath the typos and whatnot. But there are also publishing demons: tricky, nasty interfering jokers (no doubt the authors of all impersonal rejection emails.) If there weren't devils, publishing would be the ultimate meritocracy, which it obviously isn't, or the great manuscripts languishing in desk-drawers and on hard-drives across the nation would be published and consumed by appreciative viewers' eyes everywhere, while uninspired, badly crafted dreck would never see the light of day.
One of those publishing demons, sitting on his
chair o' writers' skulls as he reads your manuscript,
before he tosses it into the fire.
Reblogged from Meta Pictures "Portals to hell"

In any case, in the late spring of 2014, I was emailing my publisher, Mr. Big-book-bucks (president, Firefly Books, who is a shape-changer; sometimes a publishing God, sometimes a devil...)  about business-ish things... things like sales figures of books published back in the day that are still selling, books in and out of print, and collecting my cheddar, lettuce, my dough... not a sandwich... my royalties...

Before we continue... a reminder: Please go to the Amazon Kindle Scout site and nominate my book, The Knife Thrower's Wife! Thank you.

Somewhere in our discussion, on the off chance, the longshot, that Mr. B-b-b was interested, I dropped in a word about Wendy Tugwood's little manuscript with the working title "I Love You Three" that was kicking around on my computer. His response? "We don't publish kids' picture books." I wasn't entirely surprised...  While I wasn't entirely surprised, I stifled the impulse to say something along the lines of, "Pardon me Mr. B-b-b, but are you not the publisher of a certain blockbuster, bestselling children's book; a little thing called Love You Forever? A book which is arguably America's fave kiddie book, a book which has sold more than 30 million copies, that was first born in 1986 and has lived on to span generations; a book that is in its 30th anniversary, still going strong? Sheesh!"

At that juncture I emailed Wendy's manuscript to Mr. Big-book-bucks in spite of his protest, mainly because I felt I owed it to Wendy to at least give it a shot. Not surprisingly, again came the response that Firefly doesn't publish kids' books.

Time scooched by and in July 2014 I visited Toronto and arranged a sit-down with Mr. 3-B's himself who (to my shock) came with Wendy's manuscript in hand. We discussed its attractions and detractions...

Attractions: it's playful, it's emotional, it's heartfelt, it's not entirely concept-driven, it's relatable.
Detractions: it'll be compared to Love You Forever.
That was it. One detraction. Mr. B-b-b agreed to publish it if I would illustrate it. "Okay... deal." I said, and we shook hands.

If you've ever heard the expression over the transom which means that to get published you either have to know someone or sneak your manuscript onto their desk... this publishing agreement was as over the transom as it gets.

Stay tuned for the next installment, "The Contract."

No comments:

Post a Comment