HE WROTE: The State of the Partnership
Since it's the beginning of the year, and only THREE MONTHS until DLD is published, I thought it would be appropriate to say a few words on where things are. I use the word partnership because we decided that was better than collaboration which seems to have some sort of negative connotation in publishing, although we have yet to meet someone who will say that to us directly.
How we started this partnership will be explained on one of the pages of the web site once it's running, which will be in a couple of weeks, so I won't get into that.
Where it stands now: DON'T LOOK DOWN is coming out on 4 April and our publisher, St. Martins, is very much behind the book. We made a talk to the sales force on 3 December over dessert late at night in Scottsdale, Arizona. Talking to tired people over dessert is a dicey thing. But I think we did ok. Jenny and I have the same problem with public speaking: we never remember what we said. We also sat with the Associate Director of Publicity for SMP and sketched out a book tour around the many conferences we were already doing. Jenny whipped out a map she'd torn out of the airline magazine from the plane she flew in on-- really. She'd made little dots on it for all the conferences we were doing. And then we started war-gaming which places we could then hit for the book tour. Exotic locales like Kazakhastan were bandied about. We still don't know exactly where and when we'll be going-- as soon as we know it will be on the web site-- but John did look up at us and said: "This is the most extensive book tour we've ever done." Then we had to slice our wrists-- not deeply mind you-- and sign in blood that we would do whatever SMP asked to promote the book.
Actually, the truth is, we were thrilled to be asked to speak at the sales meeting. And we WILL do damn near anything-- no, not that-- to promote the book.
Oh yes, Jenny did tell me I had to burn the shirt I was wearing for that talk. Sigh. It was the only thing I was wearing that Mollie-- Jenny's daughter who set up our photo shoot in NYC the previous month-- hadn't bought for me. Point of note: I have not burned it, but moved it to my workout outfit ensemble. I'm wearing it right now after running in the preserve, aka swamp, and kayaking.
Anyway. So DLD is in production. Oh, yeah. The cover. That was interesting. You see, my experience with covers has been that I saw them when I got my author's copies of the book, which were always the last ones shipped. I saw the cover for my second book-- true story-- for the first time when I was at Fort Bragg. I'd been called back to active duty for some mess and I was in-processing with some other reserve SF guys and the man in front of me in line looked at my name-tag and said "Hey, did you write a book?"
I said, "Yes."
He reached into his backpack and pulled out my second book which I had not yet seen. And he'd gotten it out of the New Jersey public library. Really.
But I digress. The cover for DLD.
We got this color copy of the cover art from our wonderful editor, Jennifer Enderlin. I thought it was great. Jenny not. She was right in retrospect.
Short version. A month and twenty or so covers later we eventually had the great cover we have now. I let Jenny fight those battles because I want everyone to think I'm this sweet, easy-going guy, which I am. I tend to say "Sounds good to me" to pretty much everything. But one of the strengths of the partnership is we each bring different talents and skill to the table. Jenny has a much better sense of the business of publishing than I do even though I've been making a living at it for 15 years. Some of that I ascribe to her membership and work in RWA-- which BTW I joined last week. I bring my NYC subway glare when needed. And I email her every morning asking "Book done yet?"
That's how a good partnership works.