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.
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?