Guess what? I think I might be the luckiest person I know. Why do I say this? I have the most flexible and understanding publisher in my corner—Carina Press. Let me give you an example…
About a year ago Carina’s Editorial Director, Angela James, announced an open-sub call for military homecoming-themed romance novellas for the GIFTS OF HONOR holiday duology. Along with the theme, the submissions had to be 35,000 words or under. Usually word-count limits aren’t a problem, and when it comes to the publishing world I’m a stickler about following guidelines (pro tip: EVERYONE should be a stickler about following guidelines 😉 ). Unfortunately, as I completed my submission, it was a little… overweight. I chopped off an epilogue and a few scenes. Somehow I wrestled it down to just under 35K and sent it off, all the while wondering if my ruthless word-hacking job had actually crippled it.
I was so relieved when it was accepted! But imagine my surprise when Angela decided this work needed MORE, and ironically enough even pinpointed on the places where I had done most of my brutal word-surgery. I put the bulk of the original work back and wound up begging her forgiveness for going over the word count. This project weighed in at 36,057 words, not including the 2300-word epilogue. Again I chewed my nails down to a nub, certain I was destined for a first-class butt-kicking.
The butt-kicking never occurred. In fact, my editor gave me a pat on the back via Twitter for getting through those edits. Better still, when I mentioned in an email that I had extra scenes dealing with this project, she had a brilliant brainwave—why not put those scenes on my blog, and put a link at the end of the book so that readers could easily find it? Wheeeee, perfect! Almost everything I originally wrote somehow got put out there in the world for anyone to read. *happy dance*
This never would have happened if I didn’t have a publisher who cared more about the story, than they did about being pedantic and refusing to think outside the box. Carina Press really is all about the story, and both the writers and the readers benefit. Oh, and that project? It’s STARTING FROM SCRATCH, and it was a “Recommended Read” at both Harlequin Junkie and Dear Author. It’s also wound up on two “Best of 2013” lists, Blogging by Liza and Jayne’s list at Dear Author. All because of an innovative, forward-thinking publisher and a fearless leader who believes in not just me, but in ALL her writers.
Here’s to the New Year, Carina Press. I can’t wait to see what happens next.