Editors and Agents and a Recipe For Success

Just picked up from the ‘Literary Midwife’, a literary magazine in Portland, OR, by Mary Rosenblum, the best editor in the world.

…..and now we get to the ‘Agent’ part of the post…

Editing is the expensive part of publishing and that’s the part that most self publishing writers overlook.  Hey, it’s an awesome book, they know it’s an awesome book and so do their friends!   But remember, you want about 30,000 strangers to think it’s an awesome book, too.

Let me share Mike Descamp’s story with you.   Mike Descamp brought me a novel for a full content edit.  He had submitted it to a friend, an editor in the NY publishing world, and it had been politely and firmly rejected.   I had a lot to say about that book, suggesting he make some big changes, including remove a character who simply didn’t belong and reorganize the way the story unfolded. That’s a lot to ask of a writer and I give Mike a lot of credit, a LOT of credit, for trusting me, listening to me, and making some signifcant changes in that book.

It shaped up into a powerful coming of age story with some echoes of Catcher in the Rye, the loss of innocence of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also the modern darkness of family dysfunction and child abuse. For all that, it’s a book of redemption and hope, and will leave readers satisfied.  I’m very proud of the work Mike has done on it.

Mike met an agent at a casual writing event recently and the agent graciously, if a bit reluctantly, said she’d look at a pitch, then asked for a chapter by chapter outline and thirty pages.  We worked on those together and sent them off.  I cautioned Mike to expect a looong wait, but lo and behold, she called him about a week later, to say she had looked at the outline, started reading the pages, he’s a powerful writer, and please send the whole book.  She’s taking it to New York.

I’m not in any way taking credit for Mike’s success. Sunrise Yeomans County is a powerful story and he is indeed a very strong writer.  But he made some beginner mistakes that hid its strength and we worked as a team on this book, with the same goal;  make this story as powerful as it could be.  And it is powerful.   Great work, Mike, I really expect this agent to sell the book to a New York publisher, and  I’m looking forward to seeing it in print! Thanks for being such a cooperative client, you’ve been a joy to work with!

So, the bottom line is that you must have a strong book and you must promote it.  Those are the key elements to success in publishing today, no matter how you go about it.  Hmmm.  Now that Mike has his book placed with the agent, he has time to go spend on that website.  Great picture on the page, Mike, excellent!  Now get to work!

Check out Mary at http://www.newwritersinterface.com

One thought on “Editors and Agents and a Recipe For Success

  1. Sandra Clark April 25, 2015 at 4:28 pm Reply

    Way to go Mike!


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