Susan’s Randoms: More Publishing Surprises

On Tuesday, I discussed five surprises I’d encountered with publishing. Well, I thought of some more while on the treadmill:

1) Everyone told me that “they’d” change my title, but “they” didn’t. I proposed my story as “Black Tuesday” and, a year and a half later, it was still “Black Tuesday.” So there goes that myth.

2) I thought asking for 10 advanced copies would be enough. It was a default number in my contract, and I didn’t think to change it (this was pre-agent). I would’ve asked for 30, had I been more savvy about the amount I’d need for book reviewers, reader contests, and writers conference giveaways.

3) I thought my book editor would be like the editors I’d had as a journalist. She has been more like the flipside of my conscience, brainstorming ideas for problem scenes, giving me inspiration for solidifying the theme of my story. So far, there has been no fire-breathing, ego-crushing, ghoul-like behavior that I’ve experienced with prior editors. Then again, I think my hide is part rhinoceros and part Kevlar, thanks to all those years of fire-breathing, ego-crushing ghouls.

4) I thought I’d know the exact date of when my book was published months and months in advance. You know, so I could engrave it on everything from bookmarks to the back bumper of my car. But the date changed multiple times (from Fall 2006 to Fall to 2007 to Summer 2007), and then when Summer 2007 came, it wasn’t until summer was almost on me before I had a concrete date (June 14).

5) I thought I’d read my book once it was in print. I haven’t. I’ve never read a magazine or newspaper article of mine, either, once it was published. There’s just something about not being able to correct those misspelled words or bad transition sentences that would mock me forevermore.

~S.C.

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