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Official, professional site for author, speaker and blogger Karl Giberson. 


Contractual Obligations III

Karl Giberson

Writer’s Log: Stardate 27-1-12

The book proposal I created for Saving Adam—then called Creating Adam—was 80 pages long.  My agent encouraged me to find a cool picture for the front and make it into a real presentation. It was a literary masterpiece, a work of art...

The first version came back to me though—and this is one of the valuable things an agent can do for you—needing more work. Despite my best efforts I had sprinkled a few grammatical mistakes throughout--a really bad thing to do in a book proposal; I had repeated myself--another bad thing; and I had done some other clunky things. I was told to “do it over.”  And by now my agent had figured out that I can write and edit really fast so he said “And I don’t want it back in just a couple days.”  Absent that warning I would have sped thru it and just fixed the most glaring mistakes.

So I polished it again, working in gazebo in the warm summer, until it was ready. But, at 80 pages, it was too hefty. So we decided not to include the chapter I had written, keeping just the Introduction. which was pretty long and did a good job of laying out the plan of the book. My agent was nervous that an editor might look askance at such a weighty tome and maybe not want to read it.

So off it went. To Simon & Shuster and De Capo; to HarperCollins and Alfred Knopf; to Palgrave-Macmillan and Beacon Press; to Doubleday and Basic and Norton and Free Press and other publishers that I would never have thought to sent it to.

We crossed our fingers and waited, hoping that all these big publishing houses would soon be in a bidding war to offer Karl Giberson a contract.


More silence.

Normally, silence would be nerve-wracking, but I was finishing two other book projects and was actually OK with the delay.  But in the back of my head, I was getting  worried. What if nobody wants to publish my book?