Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Dog Days

The month of August is generally considered the dog days of publishing. Many agents and editors go on vacation, sunning themselves on sandy beaches and reading actual bound books rather than looseleaf manuscripts. Letting all those papercuts heal. Agents don't submit a lot of books, as many of the publishing decision-makers are out of the office, but editors are always twitching and peeking at their inbox to make sure an August gem doesn't slip through the cracks. Plus it gives people a chance to recharge before the Frankfurt book fair and the always enjoyable Great Read in the Park. Come winter it'll be full steam ahead. Money will be spent. Dreams will come true. The dead will rise from the grave. Well, two out of three ain't bad.

For those of us, like me, who aren't currently on vacation, it's a great time to get some real work done. I have five books on my Summer 2007 (April-August) list. Of those five, one is already done and edited, one is currently being edited, two are being written, and one is a graphic novel for which the editing is very sparse, considering you can't really expand or contract all those speech bubbles, so my main job is saying, "Nice!" and "Add an apostrophe."

Plus I'm making good progress on Henry Parker #2, currently titled THE REGULATOR, which is due to my publisher in January. Oh yeah, and I'm getting married in less than three weeks. Did I say August was the dog days of publishing? Feel free to smack me in the head with a copy of THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE.

On a fun note, I just noticed that Associated Content named "The Man in Black" one of the Top 10 blogs about writing and publishing. This is very cool, especially, since it's listed alongside other great sites like Miss Snark, Kristin Nelson's Pub Rants, and Evil Editor. It's still weird to know that actual people (other than my parents) read this thing. Though I would like to add several websites that AC missed, like M.J. Rose's Buzz, Balls & Hype and Sarah Weinman's Confessions of an Indiosyncratic Mind. Still the gold standards to which all book writing and publishing websites aspire to.

And in tSeptember, two books I edited at my old job will be released, and I think both of them have a chance to do quite well. Ironically they're both religious humor books, one a hardcover and one a paperback original, sure to offend and overjoy Jews and Christians alike. As their pub dates approach I'll give a little more insight as to how both were published, there were certainly some fun moments as well as moments where I nearly tore my hair out, but both books came out wonderfully, and hopefully they'll find an audience. Fingers crossed...

4 Comments:

Blogger Rob Gregory Browne said...

Sounds like August is to publishers what December is to producers.

But I made my deal in August of last year, so I think I feel even better about it now. :)

12:35 AM  
Blogger Trish Ryan said...

This raises the question...did you leave your old job to avoid the anticipated religious backlash ???
:)

11:56 AM  
Blogger Hardluck Writer said...

Jason,

I enjoy both your site, and the insight. Great job!

Dave Z.
http://www.hardluckstories.com

9:33 AM  
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