Saturday, January 23, 2010

Romancing the Rock

Yeah, corny title. Can't be helped.

On January 11th I sent my book proposal (10-page synopsis plus 10,000 words of novel), to Amira Rock Publishing.

Of course, I hyperventilated, waiting.

That same week, I had an email telling me they couldn't open up the attachments, so, I re-saved them in a Word doc. and resent them. Apparently they'd gotten them to open up. But they didn't let me know, so I bugged them on Monday to find out. Sure enough, someone emailed me back that an editor was reviewing my novel and would get back to me by end of the week.

Wednesday, ( 20th), my phone line was out. Don't that figure? First it's the ice storm and no electricity for 3 days, and now this. When I need it the most. Well, I called to have the problem fixed on Thursday. Phone was fixed on Friday, and I had about a dozen emails.

One was from Amira Rock Publishing about my vampire novel.

Now, I'm going to pause here and say, this whole time I knew that they would take it, but their offer would give me pause. I couldn't put my finger on it. I knew that if I was to be published, I'd have to do something else that would probably put me in the hole. Something quite drastic, but the work would be published, should I go with it.

I was right.

I opened up the email and read that they'd reviewed my submission, and he felt that I had "a very interesting story with a stable plot that may prove to generate sales."

And then there was an "However" claws.

"However, as the writing stands, we cannot accept it. It needs severe comprehensive editing to make this work stand out as a significant contribution to the mainstream literary market."

He went on to explain what this was. They would actually add or subtract content in order to improve the "overall essence of the story." He also said that you can find these editorial services on line and they all cost about the same one cent per word, but none could guarantee that the work would be saleable.

They would be willing to edit my work and guarantee publication with them for the same cost, based on the original word count. They would edit the first 9 pages and e-mail this to me before I decide to do this.

My word count given was 185,600.

He also said that as it was too long, that it would probably be cut down to make 3 novels from the one. To me, this is like cutting a lady in thirds. Could this be done? How? My mind wrestled with this into the wee hours of the night.

I've sat here with calculator and no matter what it will come out to over $600. per book. He suggested (rightly so) I work on one book at a time. I'm assuming they would allow me to pay for one book at a time as well. Or they can just forget it. I don't have that sort of money.

This is not the first time I've had someone say that my work needed editing--and there was always a price tag on it.

And if you open up any book out there, read the acknowledgements you will see the author praising their editor along with their agent. How do we know how much editing was done on any number of best selling works? Meyer's Twilight series, Rowling's Harry Potter series among the few to mention.

The weather here in norther Illinois is gloomy. And that's rather what I feel. There will be no advance. If anything this is going to cost me more than what I can afford.

But, here I am, at 55--going on 56. I'm not getting any younger. I've dreamed of having my first book out and having my book signings. This happened. But the self-published book is difficult to get into chain bookstores, and I couldn't get any other book signings outside of DeKalb--and couldn't get one in Barns & Nobel if my life depended on it. I sold a dozen books in 2008, but in 2009, I had only sold a handful. Self-publishing has its drawbacks. If you don't have the time and money to continuously sink into the self-promotion, then don't.

Here I have one publisher--small as she is--willing to publish my book(s), as long as I pay them.

Of course I will be going through the contract with a fine tooth comb before I sign.


  1. Hey Lorelei! I would be really wary of someone who offers to publish your work as long as you pay them. I know it is tempting just to see your work in print, but if your work is good enough then you will find someone! I found both my publishers through You have to pay a small subscription but def worth it. As for the length of your novel - wow! it is long! If I were you I would edit, edit, edit. Use more concise phrases/cut words or even whole scenes. If you are ever likely to see your work in print then you will just have to do it, however painful. Let me know how you get on! Marissa.

  2. Definitely put that comb to good use and be careful! Tricky business this one. Blood, sweat, and tears will get your manuscript where you need it. Fingers crossed for you!


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