Friday, December 14, 2007

Much Wailing & Gnashing of Teeth

Two months ago, an author friend graciously agreed to blurb a consulting client's debut novel, which has a similar theme. I was happy, my client was happy. She was told not to send out any ARCs herself; her editor would take care of it. So she did as she was told.

Then last night I received a chatty email from the author, at the end of which she mentioned that she'd never heard back from my client.


I shot off an email. My client responded today, chagrined. Seems her editor never sent the ARC, as promised. The book is off to press soon, so it's too late to put any blurbs on the jacket. Besides, she wrote, her agent (at Big Agency) and editor (at Big Publisher) "got all defensive when I asked them to please send out to authors, saying, ‘Nobody reads the author reviews on the back of books anyway.’"

My tactful reply: "That's a load of crap."

Darling Husband's response: "Big Publisher's new policy is not to use blurbs by other authors on their book jackets? Oh really?"

My advice:
Email the author with apologies & ask if you can still send her the ARC. Then do it yourself. You can use blurbs in press materials & on your website; they don't go to waste. You can bet if some big-name author writes a glowing blurb, Big Publisher will splash it at the top of their press release in a New York nanosecond.

From another client with another Big Publisher, who was told that the ARCs for her June book would be ready soon after Thanksgiving:
Found out on 12/11 (after emailing my editor's assistant as to when are galleys coming, since editor said they'd be soon and wanted to discuss blurbs, yet hasn't responded to 2 emails) that, "Oh... sorry. I'll be sure to keep you in the loop from now on! They've been pushed back to 2/21!"
Moral: The world is filled with wankers.* But do not yell at them; send effusive thanks & holiday goodies instead. You want them to feel guilty, not resentful. (And if you haven't heard back after 2 emails, pick up the phone.)

*One of my mottos. Another is: When the going gets tough, the tough go to bed.


Sustenance Scout said...

Bella, I can't tell you how much I learn about the ins and outs of publishing from pros like you! Thanks! K.

Anonymous said...

I have to say...this post makes me feel better about the treatment I'm getting from my agent and publisher. Not the only one dealing with wankers!