Sunday, February 3, 2013

Contracts & Titles & Tears . . . Oh, My!

This past week included an amazing adventure:  I had a two-hour conversation with a publisher.  I say it was amazing because this is by far the longest conversation I have ever had in 40-years of writing about writing.  I was in my element, in my world . . . and it was an incredible experience formulating titles, discussing marketing plans, working through the intricacies of contractual agreement, determining deadlines and "rollout" dates and catalogue copy. 

Later, at home, I wept over the awesomness of it. 

I know most people won't get it . . . but to a writer--or at least someone like me who has been writing with determination, focus, and hard-headed resolve since he was twelve years old--a conversation about publishing with someone who knows publishing and understands this world is a rare gift.

I've never been part of a writers group (I would rather write than talk about writing).  I've never joined a writer's club or read magazines about writing (I've always learned the hard way . . . by writing until my fingers turned blue).  And I have few--if any--people who read my work prior to publication (what's my wife gonna do?  How's she gonna help me write it?).

But when I can talk to the people who know this biz . . . really understand it . . . Lord-a-mercy it's an awesome experience.  And when a publisher recognizes that I know the biz, too--that's even better.  There's a bond.  It's like recognizing the secret handshake and being ushered into Zanadu.  

And so we talked . . . profit margins, royalty rates, hardback vs. trade/digital, titles, subtitles, connotative meaning, advertising, direct mail, etc. etc. etc.

I'm still overcome by the thought of it.  

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