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Ins and Outs, Ups and Downs

In a follow-up to Monday's topic on the marketing side of writing … a brief follow-up to sales after Read an eBook week is over. No longer am I getting ten or twelve purchase notification emails from Smashwords every few hours. Since Sunday, there has been no action on any of my titles there. As discussed on Monday, that promotion was a "loss leader" and I can only sit back and wait (or find more venues of promotion) for people to read the book, like it, and buy something else.

Curiously, on Amazon, one of my short stories, A Summer's Eve, has had a few sales after a long dormant period. Promotion seems to be a crap shoot at best. And patience is rule #1.

And now a brief sojourn into more of the ups and downs of the business. Some of you might remember that I had a project underway for a cozy mystery series. I'd written a sample, my agent made suggestions, I made changes, she submitted it. The editor came back with a request for revisions. (She wanted the discovery of the body delayed) I made them. My agent loved it. She submitted it. The editor said "although the changes were exactly what I asked for, and more, I've decided it's not right for me."

Does that sting? Yes. According to the agent, when that editor asked for revisions, it usually meant you were 90% there. So, did the editor actually read the first submission? Or merely skim it and decide the body was found too early without really getting a feel for my writing? Because, bottom line, what probably got the deal rejected was that elusive thing called "voice." Yet my voice was the same in both versions. I didn't do much other than add about 20 pages before the body was discovered, and she liked that. So hopes were raised, then dashed. But if the editor didn't like my voice and HAD accepted the project, we'd probably have clashed during edits.

Then, to add insult to injury, the agent said that she'd only agreed to represent me for that one project (despite her having asked for my other manuscripts), so we've parted ways, and I'm agentless again.

However, I said this post was about the ups as well as the downs. On Saturday, I received the executed contract for Book #3 in my Blackthorne, Inc. series from Five Star. This was heartening, because my first 2 books with them were written under their Expressions line, which they discontinued. The third book will go out under their mystery imprint, although it's still a romantic suspense. You can look for that one in April of 2012.

And, another up. Monday, Publishers Weekly reviewed my upcoming WHERE DANGER HIDES. Now, I've had positive buzz about the book, BUT, Five Star's target market is the library trade. And libraries rely on publications like PW to decide what books to buy. (Even my own local library told me it would accept a donation of my book, but unless it got a PW or comparable review, it wouldn't buy one—I guess that falls into the 'down' column.)

And, because it's my blog, I get to share that review with you.

Odell follows 2010's When Dangers Calls with this sizzling suspense tale. Dalton, "just Dalton," is a sweet-talking Texas black ops contractor equipped with a sharp mind, big muscles, an intriguing background tragedy that makes him cry over babies, and boatloads of sex appeal. Miri Chambers, manager of a shelter for wayward teens, is just his type: "proud, strong, intelligent, compassionate, and one hundred percent female," with a past she'd rather not reveal. Odell spins a somewhat unlikely tale of drug trafficking and illegal immigration around them, but the real action is in Miri and Dalton's passionate mutual attraction, and not even his cold showers and her idealistic do-gooding can douse its uncontrollable flames. Romance fans will drool over Dalton and his fellow camo-clad helicopter-riding commandos as they look for runaways and love.

Read it for yourself here (I think it's cool to see that PW banner at the top of the page. Makes me feel legit.)

And when you get there, click the "like" button. Make me feel good! Or the "tweet" button. Or both!

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Terry I am sorry to hear the editor didn't bite. I've been there and it hurts so much b/c you make it so specific for them and then what? Where can you turn around and sell it? But I am sure you will find the right home for it.

On the agent thing..hmmm...that is so strange. I do know some do only rep one book but that should have been clear from the start, so maybe it wasn't a match made in heaven.

Nice review from PW!

Best of luck with the book.


PS. Have an editor from HQN stopping by my blog today. Maybe she can shed more light on why an editor would ask for changes and then not buy.

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Thanks, Gabriella.

I'm planning to rework the story and see what happens. The agent was a lawyer, so I'm sure the contract was clear to speakers of legalese, but it would have been nice for her to just say it up front when we talked at length, and she asked for all my other outstanding manuscripts, published works, etc.

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery