Editorial Letter

For those following my intrepid journey to the bookshelves...

I have an editorial letter! I've never had an editorial letter before. It was quite a buzz getting one. Actually I've had the letter for two weeks, but I didn't think to mention it outright until now.

The editorial letter is a standard step of the publishing process, written by your wise editor, and is a list of her (in my case) thoughts on how your book could be improved. I've read of authors who were nonplussed when they saw their letter, but clearly those authors didn't have Kathleen for an editor, because mine was a delight, full of good advice and reassurance.

When a publisher acquires your book, an editor is assigned, as per this happy statement:

Gary Corby's THE EPHIALTES AFFAIR, set in Periclean Athens, to Keith Kahla at Minotaur, with Kathleen Conn editing, in a nice deal, for publication in Fall 2010, by Janet Reid at FinePrint Literary Management (world).

So Kathleen got landed with my ms right at the start and subsequently read the book half a dozen times, thinking about what could be better. She then wrote the letter and I am now acting on it.

You don't have to follow your editor's advice - the contents of the book is ultimately up to the author - but personally, I see that in the same sense as you don't have to have surgery when the doctor says you need a triple bypass.

I'm writing some new bits in addition to cleaning up the ms. One new bit you already know: the historical note I've posted. The other bits are an author note and a character list. They're all things you don't need to worry about writing until your book is sold.

One thing in the sale note that is definitely changing is the title. The Ephialtes Affair was my working title, which I first typed over four years ago, and working titles are usually replaced. What appears on the cover will be something more likely to attract readers. The other thing we don't have yet is a cover. It'll all happen down the road, and as soon as I have a title and cover you'll see it here first.


scaryazeri said...

Oh, this must be so exciting!

Maybe your luck could rub off on me, as we say back home. Of course, I have to actually write something first. :)))

Gary Corby said...

Hi Scary, yes writing something is normally a prerequisite to being published.

But you're obviously a very good writer. It rather raises the question, what would you like to write?

Janet Reid said...

I still think "Another Great Novel by one of Janet Reid's fabulous clients" is an ideal title.

I"m not sure why the SMP marketing team makes funny noises when I suggest it.

Gary Corby said...

Yes Janet, I couldn't understand why they rejected that title.

"Gary's Not Entirely Rotten Novel About Some Guys Who Do Stuff" had a certain zing to it too.

SomedayAuthor said...

Congrats, that is so exciting! I am looking forward to reading it, no matter the title, when it graces bookshelves here in the States.

scaryazeri said...


Thank you...

I am working on it. :)

I just think it is important to figure out who my market is, and what people want to read.

I could attempt a basic blog-into- book thing. I did my research and read a couple. But I am not sure that it is something people would buy/read, to be honest- despite the deliciously weird background I can spice it up with!

Am I spending too much time thinking about it from a business point of view? LOL

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Trisha. In fact America is where the book is appearing first, because that's where my publisher is. To appear elsehwere someone needs to buy foreign rights.

Tabitha Bird said...

I have never understood angst towards editors. Maybe there are some bad ones out there, but I know I will be ceasing the advise of any future editor and working my butt of to make my writing the best it can be.

LOL Janet's title. Did we expect less?

Tabitha Bird said...

Damn, spelt seizing ceasing...you get what I mean right? See why I love the editors who rework my writing with me this side of publishing?!

Gary Corby said...

Hi Scary, one thing I did, and still do sometimes, is walk into a large bookstore and just watch how people buy books.

To start with, whatever you write, it has to fit on one of those shelves. The shelves have labels. If your book doesn't match any of the labels, you're finished.

But with your fascinating background, I would have thought almost any story set in exotic Baku would be a great start?

Gary Corby said...

Hi Tabitha,

Yep, I worked it out the first time. :-)

I agree, and one thing I noticed right away is how good editors are at spotting what can be better in places I never thought of.

Jm Diaz said...

Congratulations Gary! Really. It is always refreshing to see good writers on the way to publication. I sincerely wish you the best.
I'm also glad to hear that I'm not alone in going to big bookstores and people-purchase-watch. :)

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Jm.

I find watching people browse fascinating. Someone will pick up a book, look at it front and back, then put it down, and I wonder, "Why didn't they like that one?"

Of course, the majority of people in bookstores are women, so it's a small miracle I haven't been arrested as a pervert.

Mimzy said...

When it does come out I'll be sure to buy a copy for myself and try to bully everyone I know into buying a copy as well. It probably won't work since I'm as menacing as a rabid gnat, but I'll try!

scaryazeri said...


That is interesting. I never watched people buy books before.

Baku...You must have looked at my blog, thank you! And thank you for introducing Bill Kirton to me, I really enjoy his blog now.

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Mimzy! I'm very much looking forward to signing your copy some time.

Scary, I've been reading your blog for some time now. It's excellent.