BookTV Panel Discussion on Publishing

BookTV LATFOB publishing panel

 

I missed the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books over the weekend, but I was able to catch a few interesting panels on BookTV on C-SPAN2, particularly this discussion on Publishing with Maris Kreizman @mariskreizman (Publishing Project Specialist at Kickstarter), Isaac Fitzgerald @IsaacFitzgerald (Editor, Buzzfeed Books), Oscar Villalon @ovillalon (Managing Editor, Zyzzyva Magazine) and Johnny Temple @AkashicBooks (Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, Akashic Books).

This video is worth watching several times.  Frank talk about the reality of publishing today. A great kick in the ass for writers (like me) who balk at self-promotion. Opened my eyes.

“Panelists talked about book publishing. Panelists included Isaac Fitzgerald, editor of BuzzFeed Books; Maris Kreizman, publishing outreach lead for Kickstarter; Josh Raab, founder of theNewerYork; Johnny Temple, publisher and editor-in-chief of Akashic Books; and Oscar Villalon, managing editor of Zyzzyva magazine.

Publishing Industry: The New and the Now was a panel from the 2016 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and took place at the Hancock Foundation building on the campus of the University of Southern California.” – BookTV C-SPAN2

To view the video, click on photo

To Be or Not To Be: Reissuing a Novel

With the rise of Indie publishing, authors are able to re-issue their back list of books that have the rights reverted to them from the original publisher. I’m one of them. Some of those older books of mine had great editors. Others didn’t. I refuse to disclose which ones required more editing. But I will say a book published by a major New York publishing house does not mean it can be formatted and uploaded to Amazon without a second look. Or third.

1997 That Wilder Man, Harlequin Temptaion

Original cover of That Wilder Man (1997)

So the rewrites begin. Historical novels don’t have the same issues as contemporary novels that will be outdated. Not may be. Will be. I have heard arguments for and against updating a book for re-issue. There are readers who couldn’t care less when the story takes place as long as it is a great read.  Others refuse to read an older book. Believe it or not, most literary agents reject manuscripts set in the 1980s and 1990s, claiming “publishers aren’t interested because readers won’t buy them.” (No need to raise a hand to dispute this claim.  This was my experience querying over 100 agents for LOSING LISA:Intuitive Investigator  Series, Book One.)

The questions to ask are: Do you have a legion of fans who would object to changing a favorite book on their Keeper shelf? If so, you might leave well enough alone. However, I recall a much-loved, award-winning author whose early works were reissued by her NY publisher. Her fans were thrilled. Newer members of my writers’ organization had not read the author when they bought the re-issues. One book, in particular, was met with criticism because the hot good-old-boy hero was a chain-smoking, beer-drinking reckless driver with a volatile temper. Of course, this character evolved by the end of the book but he didn’t turn into a saint. The Bad Boy image was not only politically incorrect (driving while drinking!) but the “It” factor had become an “Ick” factor.  If the author would have been willing to update the story—I do not know whether or not she had the option—would editing have wrecked the book? I think so, but that’s just my opinion. I wasn’t offended by the chain-smoking, beer-drinker when I read the first edition. Re-reading it years later, I am aware the story takes place during the time when that behavior was acceptable.

Reissue - That Wilder Man (2015)

Reissue – That Wilder Man (2015)

Another question an author needs to ask: Is this older book representative of my current style and quality of writing? If not, do I rewrite it? When I read my earlier books, sometimes I cringe at the head-hopping points of view or awkward transitions of scenes. Other times I am pleasantly surprised that I could still hold my head up with pride of authorship.  If you aren’t sure, if you feel you are still too close to your book to know if it needs work, hire a freelance editor to check it.  Then, if it requires extensive rewrites, have it professionally edited afterward. This should go without saying but, hey, I’m saying it.

Last but not least, a big pet peeve with readers is buying a book, assuming it is new, only realize they had already bought and read the earlier edition! Don’t make my mistake. I did not intentionally try to fool the public by omitting the word “re-issue” in the book description. I assumed I had covered that point with the two publication dates and two copyright dates in the book details. Wrong.

Whether you are a reader or a writer, do you want an older book rewritten to be politically correct or let it reflect the era in which it was originally written?

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HeartsAndHeroesGroup3DBoxSet_1400pxI am happy to announce THAT WILDER MAN (reissue) is in the new HEARTS AND HEROES box set with the award-winning contemporary romance authors, Patricia Thayer, Mindy Neff, Sandra Paul and Lyn O’Farrell.

 Available now on Amazon.com for 99¢!

 

 

 

Organize Your Novel With Excel – Laura Drake | Writers In The Storm

“We’ve talked about it in other posts. How learning your writing process is finding your way in a pitch black room, full of furniture. You can learn by banging your shins, but there are less painful ways. Hopefully, this post will help.

I’m an organized person, and it would make me crazy trying to locate details in my WIP. Which chapter did the dog first show up? Or the first kiss? Or harder yet, the smaller details – what kind of shoes did the old man wear the second time the heroine met him?…”

READ MORE: Organize Your Novel With Excel