Contracts are due to land on my desk today for the publication of my latest book, Martini Moon.
This is sweet for me for a variety of reasons.
First, I love this book, and am more than delighted that I will be able to share it with my small, deeply-disturbed fan base.
Secondly, this indicates to me that the economy is on the upswing. Not only did the Dow close above 10,000 yesterday, and a headline today reads “Recession Ends in 79 Metro Areas,” but I got a book contract. That means my publisher is investing in me and my readers, libraries, and the book buying public in general. We will not let them down. Publishing provides jobs, from artists to copyeditors to box manufacturers to bookstore baristas.
And, of course, the sale of this book provides both public and private confirmation that I’m writing what people want to read. One person told me one time that I write “grim stories about unattractive people.” This is true. I do not write Danielle Steele books. But the people I write about are the people I know about. They’re real people. Real people have grim stories and many of them are unattractive. But they all have the spark of the beautiful inside them. This story, a mystery, is also about the little guy fighting city hall for what’s right.
I don’t have a publication date yet for Martini Moon. Most likely this time next year. Stay tuned, either here or on my website at www.elizabethengstrom.com.
I’ll let you know when the launch party is.
A well-written synopsis of your book will encapsulate all that you wish to accomplish, from beginning to end. This blueprint will also help you circumvent a wealth of troubles during the actual construction of your novel.
A synopsis will include your protagonist’s comfortable state of mind before trouble was visited upon him. It will include his reluctance to step into the problem. It will include his agreement to resolve the conflict so he can return to his peaceful life. It will include the antagonist, and his motivations. It will chart, in brief, the major points of conflict along the protagonist’s journey, hint at a few subplots and their leading characters, then end with the protagonist resolving both internal and external conflicts.
A good synopsis should be written in the same style in which you expect to write your book. If your book is funny, the synopsis should be funny. If your book is suspenseful, your synopsis should be suspenseful. You will revise the synopsis occasionally as your characters find their own course through your story, but a synopsis, frequently referred to, will also keep you and your characters on track.
Writing a two-page synopsis is not easy, but it will show an agent or editor that you know how to tell a story from beginning to end. Muster all the enthusiasm you can, use active, powerful verbs, a touch of dialogue if you want, and tell an intriguing story with clean, clear lines.
Apex Books just announced the new cover for the re-release of my very first published book. I’m very pleased with it, and I’m very pleased with Apex Books. You can see more information here, but for now, here’s the new cover:
When Darkness Loves Us cover art
Don’t forget that the book launch will be at Orycon in Portland, OR, this November.
I just finished editing an anthology for Rick Ramsey at TripleTree Publishing, and I need to say a word about professionalism in our industry.
I hear would-be writers cry the blues all the time about not being able to get published. Well, I just remembered why. You don’t do your homework, and you have a misplaced sense of entitlement.
I received manuscripts late. I received manuscripts that were incomplete. I received manuscripts that were single spaced. Or that were double spaced, with an extra space between paragraphs, some of which had no paragraph indentations. I got manuscripts that had funky punctuation which I had to fix (very time consuming) before it could go into the file for the book designer. I edited manuscripts, kicked them back to the authors for their okay on the revisions and never heard back. I got whole new manuscripts back after editing, making all my hard-earned revisions useless, because the old formatting was back. Which I had to re-do.Some of these were professionals. And then, on top of all of that, I had two rude authors. I don’t need rude.
Not everybody behaved badly, but I could easily tell who was a professional.
One manuscript stood out because of this: It was perfect. It arrived on time, in pristine condition. I had not one single editing suggestion. It didn’t even have a misplaced comma. The story was tight, well-told, and I knew instantly that this was a professional author. I was right. Linda Clare.
So listen up. If you want to be a professional, then dammit, act like one. Stop whining. Make your deadlines. Submit what you’re asked to submit when you’re supposed to submit it. Nothing more, nothing less.
Act like a professional.
And be nice.
If you do those simple things, chances are, you’ll get published. A lot.
…that a publisher might call out of the blue and say “Hey, we’d like to reissue your out of print books.” And then one day it happens.
Apex is going to republish When Darkness Loves Us in time for launch at Orycon this year, and perhaps Black Ambrosia.
My first two books.
TripleTree Publishing has a new owner.
I have sold the business to Rick Ramsey, a friend, a writer, and an enthusiastic guy who has great vision and big plans. He has asked me to guest-edit the next MOTA anthology, he is putting together a great retreat in Ireland with a resulting anthology of stories written there, and is, in general, carrying on the tradition I started of putting worthy new writers in print for the first time. Bravo.
Turning the reins over to him was a bittersweet moment.
But a good one. TripleTree rests in good hands. Check out his website and keep your eye on what Rick is up to.
It’ll be good.
Filed under editors, Writing