I didn’t expect it, but changing publishing houses is like living in Mayberry your whole life and deciding to relocate to London. Potentially forever. You’re aware that it won’t be an easy transition, but you can’t imagine it’s that hard. People speak the same language where you’re going and historically, we were all once kinsmen.
Change is the essence of life. People do it every day. Even nature is perpetually evolving: winter, spring, summer, fall. So this should feel organic, right?
Not quite. I won’t sugarcoat the truth. This has been one of the most arduous journeys I’ve ever experienced. Nearly more difficult than getting my first book published—because then I was simply happy for an open door. I was content to have my novel be made real on bookshelves. I didn’t know anybody in publishing, and they didn’t know me. My publisher and I were new sweethearts, and I hardly edited a dozen words of my manuscript before it went to press.
Bless all the experienced authors who cheered and smiled and let me think it all so snappy. If I met my debut self right now, I’d pour her a stiff drink and say, “Girl… start taking that Zantac.”
Here’s something you need to know about me: I’m loyal to a fault. I fiercely defend my trusted relationships until I reach an absolute, indisputable end. I don’t know how to be any other way, personally or professionally. So I stayed at my original publishing house for nearly ten years while it and everyone in it changed.
I went through six or seven editors—so many I can’t even recall the exact count. They just kept leaving my imprint. And for those of you who’ve never had your editor leave in the middle of your book project, I think I can speak for the rest of us: it completely knocks you off your creative horse. Your writing legally belongs to the publishing house, not the editor employed by the house. So there you stay to be assigned to another in-house editor, who is usually inundated with projects already. Back to square one with the nice-to-meet-you’s, never mind the ins and outs of the book you’re working on. Do that 6-7 times and you feel like a redheaded stepchild. How could you not?
What many of you don’t know is that when my latest novel The Mapmaker’s Children released, my lovely editor left for another publishing house imprint, and I was assigned once more. This was the straw that broke the writer’s back. My agent and I agreed that I needed to move to a fresh house. Easier said than done. Here’s why…
Unlike with my debut, I know people now. [Read more…]