Our story is making amazing progress! Very few ideas make it to manuscript form, fewer still get the agent's nod, but now that it has reached the editor's desk--we'll know if it has any shot of all of ever getting on the shelves! Today we have Andrew Karre, acquisitions editor for Llewellyn Worldwide and FLUX to discuss his role in taking a story and turning into a book:
In the case of Debbie’s book, there was a rather severe detour followed by an abrupt and very fortunate for me U-turn. I just looked, and my memory is correct. I have an unsent, unfinished rejection letter in my files for Debbie’s book. I don’t remember exactly why I waffled so much on the book, but almost two years ago I wrote to her agent: “Thanks for sending Swimming with the Sharks. Unfortunately, I didn’t connect with this one”. I didn’t even finish the sentence.
What does this mean? I think it’s a good illustration of how capricious and gut-level publishing decisions can be. My concern was probably whether I had an adequate vision for the book, from content to packaging, and whether we were well suited to publishing and selling the book. It was never a question of whether the book was “good enough,” rather it was a question of whether the combination of Flux and Debbie and Debbie’s novel was good enough. At some point in the course of writing that rejection, something must have occurred to me that made me change me conception of how we could do the book.
Almost exactly two years later, I’m very glad we did. Debbie’s revisions were thoughtful and made a good book better. I think the package is eye-catching and intriguing. And Debbie herself is easily one of our most popular authors with publicity. It’s a good match. I’m glad I didn’t screw it up.--Andrew Karre