June 13, 2007

Odds & Ends

Each step in the publishing process for me is cause for a small frisson of panic/pleasure. This morning my editor, SuperE, sent me the tentative jacket copy for my novel.

There is 'flap' copy in the front. There are a few lines from the novel on the back. There is bio information on the back 'flap'.
It sounds like an actual book.

We're almost finished with copy editing, and SuperE expects the novel to hit the design step by the beginning of July.

I'm... sort of stunned.
At least I was sort of stunned until SuperE asked me if I wanted to include an author photo. Then I was awake enough to ponder for .00001 seconds the reality of my non-photogenic self. Then I just about fell all over myself trying to find a breezy way to subtly change the subject.

"Dear God, no," I shrieked, and fled.

Seriously. Right now I can think of nothing worse!
Lately, Gail at Original Content has been asking some good questions about what sells books. Having three fabulous people come forward and volunteer themselves to create a book blog for me, I've been a lot overwhelmed, and a little "meh" about the whole business of online book PR. I'm not sure what nifty things like book trailers and book blogs truly do for a book except provide the author/creators a whole lot of fun in envisioning the characters, and create another techno artistic outlet -- which, don't get me wrong, is a very fun thing. I guess I tend to wonder things like 'who sees this? does it really match my kind of book? does it really match me?'

What it boils down to the idea that the effort that sells a book can't really be measured -- they told us in grad school that the whole publishing thing is a crapshoot, and nothing is guaranteed. (In so many words, after so many semesters and so much tuition. Right before graduation.) Which is funny, considering that I have been for weeks trying to weigh output and translate it into sales. I think the trick to the whole thing is to become very Zen and just let it go... either it does well, or it doesn't. I am getting published. And lo que serĂ¡, serĂ¡ to everything else.

The Blue Rose Girls are discussing titles. I'm still shocked that I got to keep my title this time. S.A.M. usually very, erm, gently disabuses me of the notion that I'm good at creating titles at all. Normally not having a title doesn't bother me, but I'd never even heard of this Lulu title scorer thing. I mean, who knew that statisticians actually sat around trying to figure out if a book will be a bestseller based on its title?! One of my dearest friends since the first grade just finished his doctorate at UCLA in statistics. We're going to have a little talk about how statisticians could better spend their time.

(Incidentally, my novel's title has only a 26.3% chance of being a bestseller. At present, the most I can say about the title is that it is not "ripped from the headlines." At best it's ripped off from the dictionary...)

In other news, Ypulse's Anastacia is also asking some really good questions. Barbie Loves MAC!? Can we start the uneasy feelings of not measuring up beauty-wise any sooner for our girls? Don't all six year olds need to feel like they're not pretty enough? And finally, Bookshelves of Doom gave me yet another reason to scream: Danielle Steel. YA. Together at last.

My sister just phoned to say her apricots were dropping from the tree. Revision be darned. You know where I'm going!


C. K. Kelly Martin said...

That Barbie article is making me feel queasy. So far the APA study on the damaging effects of the sexualization of girls seems to be having zip influence on the media and marketplace.

But that's very cool about the jacket copy. July is just around the corner. I feel freaked for you. But so exciting!! I swear I have butterflies in my stomach.

Little Willow said...

I have to run to work, so let me just say that 1) you rock, 2) I'm glad that all is well, though understandably nerve-wracking, as the book process moves forward for you; and 3) I love the photo at the top of this post!

Anonymous said...

How exciting - your book is almost ready to be born! Congrats.

And a big "ew!" to the Barbie makeup.

Sarah Stevenson said...

Great post! Apparently my current novel-in-progress has a 35.9% chance of being a bestselling title, according to Lulu. Those aren't bad odds compared to the odds of GETTING PUBLISHED AT ALL, methinks!!