I know at least some of you are awaiting publication of my psychological thriller, THE BITCH, and I just wanted to give you an update on it.
The holdup is due entirely to the publisher, Eddie Vega. Lest you think I just threw Eddie under the bus, allow me to explain.
The whole problem is, Eddie's a perfectionist. Definitely a guy who's out of touch with modern life! Who in contemporary publishing does what this guy does! And, what is it he does, exactly?
Well, if you’ve read many ebooks, you’ve no doubt encountered a number of glitches in at least some of them. Paragraphs separated by space breaks, ala Lorrie Moore… but not on purpose as her work is. Those little wing-dings that mysteriously appear, such as the little blank boxes that sometimes show up. Paragraphs that aren’t indented. Spelling errors, punctuation mistakes, lines split mysteriously in places that don’t make sense. Dozens of other glitches.
Those who’ve published ebooks are well aware of them. The best publishers try to eliminate as many as possible. They appear because of the conversion programs available. What goes into the wood-chipper of a conversion program isn’t necessarily what comes out. While the best publishers do their best to clean up and eliminate conversion errors, there are some who could care less. Just slap it up on Amazon and fuggetaboutit. Some of these publishers just don’t give a damn. Slap it through the program and get it out there…
Not Eddie, nor Cort McMeel, the publishers of Bare Knuckles Press and Noir Nation International Crime Magazine. These guys are just plain anal. They have this ridiculous notion that what the buyer sees on his/her Kindle or Nook or other e-reader should be nothing less than perfect and that nothing on the page detract from the reading experience.
Here’s an encapsulated history of the editing of this book. First, I went through at least three major edits and rewrites of the entire manuscript under the guidance and tutelage of Cort and Eddie. Several dozen additional minor rewrites. This was before it was sent out for the ebook conversion process.
Eddie worked with the artists and technical wizards of the brilliant firm of Hurricanes and Butterflies in Prague, both for the cover and for the conversion to ebook format. He spent literally weeks just on the cover. Not to mention spending a boatload of money on it! This wasn’t some cover art from Jim Bob at the local graphic shop. He wanted the perfect cover. And got it, at least in my opinion. Oh—and that’s another thing. While most publishers I’ve worked with have been very gracious in soliciting my opinion about the cover on my books, not all do so. These guys really care that the author likes his cover.
For the past month, Eddie has had the three of us—him, Cort and me--going over and over the converted manuscript. Three times we’ve gone over and over a new version. Each time, we found and ferreted out conversion errors and my own errors.
Eddie and Cort have literally been working on manuscripts for BKP for 20-hour days, seven days a week. For months and months. They only publish books they’re passionate about and they’ve treated my manuscript with more respect and loving care than I’ve ever experienced with any other publisher, including several of the Big Six legacy publishers.
I’ve had to turn my phone off at night to get any sleep. Eddie is a vampire and if I didn’t turn off my phone, I’d be sure to get a call from him at three in the ayem. He often works through the night and I think he thinks the rest of us are doing the same.
The thing is, both Eddie and Cort feel this is a great book. And, they treat it with that kind of respect. Whether it is or not, I imagine readers will let us know. I’m very happy with it—especially after these guys helped me make it much “gooder” than it was when I submitted it to them.
I wish all my writer friends will get to experience a publishing experience akin to mine with Bare Knuckles Press with their own publishers! It’s the kind of experience that renews my faith in publishers—the kind that used to exist in larger numbers. Who aren’t concerned about the money first and foremost, but more in delivering what they feel to be worthwhile literature to the world.
So, I’m not throwing Eddie under the bus at all. Mostly, I love the respect and care he’s given my work, even if it gets the release date moved up some.
At this moment, we’re hoping it’ll be available in a day or so. In the meantime, I just wanted those of you who’ve been asking me when they can get a copy to know what’s going on. It’s all good.
I also wanted to share with you what some folks have said about THE BITCH in the blurbs they’ve generously given to me. As you can see by their names, these are people most of us know from their own, superb work. It means a lot to me what they had to say.