Secret, Secret, Secrets….
When I first received the notification that the manuscript had got accepted, I was scared to tell anyone. I probably held the secret for about two weeks before I even said anything. For one, it was still surreal to me. To have worked on something for so long and to see your dream come true in a matter of days was….indescribable almost. The thing is…I didn’t want to jinx myself. I didn’t want to run around yapping about it and the dream never come true. I guess my thinking is from reading so many stories about rappers/singers who sign a contract with a label, but are dropped before even a single is released. So, what got me to talk?
Well, an erotic fiction author by the name of Omegia Keeys. She has two books published through Passionate Writers Publishing, Passionate Playmates and Seduction.com with another one on the way- Can You Keep a Secret? which drops today (May 18th). Through our conversations on Authors Supporting Authors (Ning.com), she highly encouraged that I let the cat out the bag, which I did. The first person I told was my best friend Alisha who has followed The Diamond Collection from day one. Then, I announced it at the CWC Reunion. After that, I made a little flyer that had a picture of diamonds on it that read “Who is Carmen Davenport?” Although no one ever commented on the photo on Facebook or MySpace, when I saw people, I did get questions about it. It was then that I broke the news that I was starting the journey of becoming a published author. Slowly, but surely, the word started spreading…let’s hope it spreads more!
SN: For more information on Omegia Keeys, visit http://www.omegiakeeys.com!
Learning the Biz
The minute you tell someone that you have a book on the way, there are about three questions that are generally asked. 1. What is it about? 2. When is it coming out? 3. How did you get it published? Then, after these questions are out of the way, you get hit with the book cover question. This is the time when I am going to say this. It is highly important that you learn about any business before you join it. Of course, you can learn through trial and error, but it is important to know as much as possible. The reason I say this is because I’m learning as I go along. Thankfully, there are websites like AbsoluteWrite, which is a forum that helps as well as networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. There are tons of authors out there who are all sharing in similar experiences. Here are some of the things I’ve learned so far…
Learn the actual company. I will be honest and say that I did not go beyond the official website in terms of getting information about the company I’m with before I signed the contract. However, I’m giving this tip because there is another company I had thought to go with, but found out later on, it wouldn’t have been a good choice. So I won’t get sued for slander, I won’t say their name publicly, but feel free to send me an email and I’ll give you my caution sticker! LOL…I can only imagine the pain I probably would’ve been in if I had of signed with them…BAH HUMBUG!
Next, make sure you know what you’re signing. You can even have the contract looked at by a lawyer before you sign it. The one thing you don’t want is to be stuck in an unhappy place. If you can’t, there are plentyof websites out there that will explain everything in detail. Use your resources!
Also, if you don’t know something (and there were tons of things I didn’t know), there is nothing wrong with asking questions. That way, when you get to book 2, you’ll have a greater knowledge of the ins and outs.
In terms of cover design, it is at the publisher’s discretion for most companies (probably even all). I got my warning going in after reading a blog post by Nikki Turner on her site (www.nikkiturner.com). Check it out:
Three days ago I received the first hot-off-the-press copy of the second Nikki Turner Presents full length novel: Against the Grain by FREEZE,
After exchanging pleasantries with the mailman and opening the package, I was unexpectedly impressed with the packaging of the book. Especially after FREEZE had given me HELL about the cover! He absolutely HATED IT. And to his defense, I can’t say that I loved it either at first! But again—to my surprise—the retailers said they loved the cover and were actually excited about putting our product on their block. Let me be the first say that we (Freeze and I) were both kinda, sorta wrong. Seriously, at the end of the day it’s the retailers that have the final say about what they choose to put on their shelves and what never sees the light of day, and it would have been border-line criminal if Freeze’s debut novel wasn’t as conveniently accessible to our loyal readers as possible.
On another note, I can’t explain some of the squabbles, skirmishes, and damn right almost resulting to blows not to mention the arguments a writer sometimes goes through to get the cover they really want, or even half way like on their work. I’ve fought so many times to get a hot cover on my babies that it’s not even funny anymore. However I will say I saw the first draft of the Ghetto Superstar cover today and I love it! Don’t worry – I will show it to you once they give me the green light that the cover is a lock.
Finally, the last thing I want to share is this. No one is going to be as passionate about your book as you are. If you want your dream to happen, you have to put the work in to make it happen. Another thing I’ve learned, don’t take anything personal in this industry. It is a business like all others with one common goal- make MONEY.
stay tuned for part IV…