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Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Farmer – My Publishing Horror Story, or Why I Chose Self-Publishing @MerryFarmer20

2:30 AM Posted by James Noel , , No comments
I would be willing to bet that most writers start publishing because they love writing.  We love creating characters and their stories and the worlds they inhabit.  It’s the ultimate in daydreaming and letting our imaginations run wild!  Who wouldn’t have fun with it?
Well, I almost gave up on publishing all together several years ago when I ran into the brick wall of an editor who had other ideas about my wonderful, imaginative, daydreamy babies.
Don’t get me wrong.  Editors are a good thing.  In fact, they are essential if you plan to make any sort of a go at writing as a career.  We can imagine and write and love our writing all we want, but at the end of the day we need an honest, professional set of eyes to take a look at our “stuff” and to correct us where we went wrong.  My first editor, Alison, was a master of this art.  She knew just how to read and critique my work from the bottom of her heart.  I had fallen into a lot of bad habits, and there were a lot of other things that I just didn’t know about the craft of writing.  Alison would spend page after page pointing out all of my mistakes, offering suggestions, and generally being a compass to point the way for me to be the best writer I could be.  I would read 20+ pages of critique from her and be bounding with energy to get started.
That’s the way it should be.
That was not the way my first attempt at publishing went.
I wrote a children’s book several years ago (like,20!) that was accepted for publication by a small publisher.  I was super excited, of course.  Well, that excitement lasted right up until the time that I was sent the final proof before the book was published.  Imagine my surprise when I read through the proof only to find that the publisher’s editor had more or less changed every sentence I wrote and renamed one of the characters!  Not only that, they had thrown out the illustrations entirely, illustrations I had an artist friend paint for me.  The new illustrator had never spoken to me to get a sense of how I envisioned the characters, so of course nothing looked as it should.
Now, I understand that sometimes grammar needs to be fixed, but not at the expense of losing an author’s voice.  I can appreciate that the illustrations my friend painted, which were watercolors, didn’t scan well, but redoing them without consulting me first was just an insult.  I knew then and know now that sometimes a publisher needs to make changes to a book, but doing it without explanation or permission is not only unethical, it’s illegal.  And because no formal contract had been signed, I calmly informed this publisher that if they proceeded with the project the way it was, well, it wouldn’t be pretty.
The good news is that I have since learned that is absolutely not the way that any professional publisher worth their salt operates.  Real publishers offer clear contracts spelling out their terms well in advance of the project.  That one experience was more than enough for me, though.  I chose to self-publish.  I continue to self-publish because I truly enjoy the process, the challenges and the independence.  It works for me.  But if you prefer traditional publishing, make sure you’re working with someone who knows what they’re doing!
Eric Quinlan was born a cowboy and a rancher and intends to die a cowboy and a rancher. But when his ranch is in danger of failing, he travels to the wilds of London looking for a business deal to save it. What he finds there are stuffed shirts, odd manners, and a damsel in distress.
Amelia Elphick’s life is over. She may have been born a lady, but when she finds herself jilted by a lover who leaves her pregnant and refuses to marry her, she seems destined for a life on the streets. When her employer’s rough but handsome houseguest, Eric, offers to rescue her from ruin, she has no choice but to say yes, even if it means moving halfway around the world.
But Amelia finds herself saying yes to more than a ticket west. What starts with a harmless lie tangles Amelia and Eric in a web of desire and deceit that exposes passions and turns their worlds upside-down. Eric believes Amelia holds the key to saving his beloved ranch and giving him the family he always wanted, but can he save her from the demons of her past without losing himself in the process?
People do foolish things when they’re in love….
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Western Historical Romance
Rating – R
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