Hello, Traditional Publishing

It’s me, Christine. Please forgive me if I’ve been driving you crazy for the last few months. I know, I’m still throwing my weight around like I owned this book. Sorry about that, but this is all so new to me.

So, you, Vesuvian Books, have done me the honor of purchasing the rights to In This Life. You’re an up and coming publisher, specializing in books to film. I have had the pleasure of working with your publicists, your film agents, your operations team.

The release of this book will have to tap into the vast majority who have had no initial interest in reading this book. And yet, I am filled with hope. I know that this book is in good hands.

How did we get here?

I guess it all started with the belief that my agent, Italia, had in this book. From the very beginning, she knew that there was something special about the story of Jude, Anna and Dante. Couple that with the stellar editing process brought about by Jim Thomas, as well as the eighteen long and grueling months of writing, re-writing, scrubbing and reviewing.

That controversial story line may have played a role in this too. The seething words of pain and anguish and love and forgiveness.

And Voila! A story like no other was born. In all fairness to my agent, I gave her ninety days to pitch. The Philippine market was knocking, and I couldn’t make the fans wait any longer. Thus the self publishing route. Jude, Anna and Dante were introduced to the world by a click of the mouse and a prayer.

But the numbers didn’t show the impact of this book on others, did they? I tried so hard to get this book out there, begged people to read it (which I am told is the biggest no-no in the Indie world), gave free trips, paid thousands for Facebook ads, and well…..nothing.  Reviews were wonderful, support from my team was phenomenal. But still, this was a popularity contest I was barely equipped to compete in.

Anyway, enough of that bitterness.

Here we are today. And here I am apologizing:

I’m sorry I drove you crazy with my doubt. I know you told me that this book is movie material, cinematic, you said. That I should be patient because I wrote a book good enough for the big screen.

I’m sorry I insisted on using my seahorses and my fleurons even when you told me that your company had a standard format for all books.

I’m sorry I wanted to use my original cover. I know you had to remind me numerous times that in normal cases, publishers would not care about my opinion. And you allowed me to provide you with input. You were open to my changes. I appreciate that now, especially because the new cover is so beautiful. A true collaboration between me and you.

I’m sorry I called and emailed everyday to ask how “things were going.” Even when you told me you would handle everything from then on. And then I wanted to give ARCs away like I normally do, even if I really didn’t’ have any more rights to this book.

So, Vesuvian Books, you’ve taught me so many things about this process.  You patiently taught me that there are pretty marked differences between publishing my own book and allowing another entity to use their knowledge and experience to manage through this market. You taught me about humility. And perseverance. And at the same time, you’ve given me the assurance that I will never again have to worry about marketing this book. That I will no longer need to feel like I’ve drowned in the sea of oblivion.

Most of all, you taught me about trusting and letting go. That rare as it may be, there are people out there who do care about your creation, because what benefits you will always benefit them.

Jude, Anna and Dante are right where they deserve to be. In the hands of a publisher that has believed in them from the time they were merely words and ideas in a writer’s head. Thank you for giving them a new home. Thank you for your trust and belief in their story.