The Write Calling

Is writing your true calling? Here you'll find encouragements for writers, book reviews, publishing industry insider tips, and market news. Read musings on writing and publishing by Katey Coffing, Ph.D.: Life Coach for Women Writers.

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Location: Colorado, United States

Published fiction and nonfiction author who embraces her creativity and coaches other women to do the same. For information and prices, visit

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fun with Publishing (Not)

Music I'm listening to: The ticking of my new wall clock. A little boring, but hey.

Publisher Hell stories, anyone? A couple of my clients, both debut authors, have new contributions for the pot.

One received an advance copy of her printed memoir last week. An exciting time for a debut author, yes? Sure, until she realized that her publisher had left out all the photographs. In a memoir. A horrifying deletion, not to mention that the photos were referenced in the text. My client was understandably shocked.

Things did not bode well. The publisher admitted the error was their fault, but said it couldn't be helped now. The book would go out to the stores completely photoless.

OH REALLY, said my client's agent. THINK AGAIN.

And wonder of wonders, the publisher finally caved and agreed to reprint the book. Quite an expense at their end, but now they're doing what's right. I hope all's well that ends well, and that the release date won't be shifted much.

Speaking of release dates, imagine being just weeks away from your first book's debut. You've sweated and slaved over that book for several years and told all your friends and excited colleagues when it's coming out. There's a page for it at Amazon with your name and a pre-order button and everything--it's real! It's the work of your heart and it's nearly here... Then imagine learning that your book has been rescheduled. Oh, and not just for a few weeks or months after the original release date, but for a year and a half after it. Um, unfun, right? Ah, but this client's story gets even better.

Her editor, the fantastic person responsible for loving, buying and committing to her wonderful book, is retiring before the new release date. Oh, yes. That editor will no longer be there to shepherd the book through the publishing jungle. My client is being "orphaned"--not uncommon in publishing, and something that introduces stress and uncertainty for the author and some risk for the book. I have my fingers crossed that everything will go smoothly with this transition, and that her new editor will love her book and be willing to push it just as much as the previous one did. She deserves that, and so does this book.

Oh, and there are far worse stories out there. Check out the Editor from Hell story, for starters. If you're feeling masochistic. :-)


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