Janet's Jargon

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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ol' Blue Eyes sang "It was a very good day..."

Well, it wasn't that way for me yesterday. I haven't said much because it was a pretty "iffy" situation. Anyway, 4 1/2 months ago HarperCollins asked me to send them the manuscript for Pampas for their new Latino line of books, called Rayo. Well, I asked them a whole bunch of questions (when they called me) and we discussed the book at great length. The gal I spoke to (the 2nd in command for the Rayo imprint) said it sounded perfect and they were really anxious to get books, as they plan to publish 75 titles this year. We also talked about my translating it into Spanish, as opposed to their "in house" translators doing it. They said that after checking my Spanish chapter on my website and said I could handle it very well. Then she said that the last contract they offered a gal who is a former cop from Chicago got a six-figure advance, and her book wasn't even written. They told me they would have a definite answer in 2 weeks--3 at the most. Well, like I said, that was 4 1/2 mo. ago. We spoke several times and the gal said some of the steps had passed easily, and a week and a half ago she said it had only one step left. Now I have been down this road a gazillion times, so I knew better than to get my hopes up to high. I wasn't really counting on it, but you know we are all so silly, we think just maybe......
Well, yesterday I finally got word from her. It came as an e-mail. It was another one of those rejection letters I used to get from all the big shots. It was wonderful. She elaborated--a lot--about all the good things about it. The only problem? They are doing books only that have Latinos in a US setting!!!!!!!!! Well, DUH! She knew that before I ever sent it to her. I told her it was in Argentina. She could tell that from reading the first chapter on my website. Am I disappointed? Not really. I sort of expected it. Even though she had checked on my sales records, and said she was very impressed with it. What I am is doggone mad! I just hate the fact that they wasted almost two months of my time with this book. I could have had it out 2 months ago from PageFree and I could have sold a gob of books. Bookstores have been asking me about it, and I just told them it was "temporarily on hold"!
I remember now why I thought going with a place where I can do it "my way" was a great idea. Next time I get one of these hairbrained ideas or let somebody talk me into something stupid, will you please, all together, kick me in the butt!
And I already got the electronic galley from PageFree today so it should be on its way to the printer by the end of the week!
I already have a couple of reviews for it. I'll try to post them here tomorrow. Yup, maybe it is a very good day after all! Hope yours is, too!


  • At 9:00 AM, Blogger JanetElaineSmith said…

    OK, it is a new day, and "I can see clearly now, the sun is up..." I have made a decision about Pampas and this situation. I am going to promote the dickens out of this book and make people like HarperCollins sit up and take note of me--and the book. I know it will take a lot of work, but I feel, like I said in an article I wrote for BBW years ago "fit as a cello." None of that small-times stuff for me. Nope, I'm ready to tackle the world. This one is going to do very well.

    To give you a little teaser, remember the Pace Picante ad on TV where the cowboys are sitting around the fire and they say--in horror--"New York City????" Well, Raul Escobar, from Pampas, definitely has something in common with those cowboys. I mean besides his being a "cowboy from down south"--an Argentine cowboy. This is a fun, fun read. I can't wait until I can tell you where and how you can go buy it. It won't be long now!

  • At 9:07 AM, Blogger Jessica McCurdy Crooks said…

    Hi Janet,

    You will show them. I am sure Pampas will do very well. As they say, you can't keep a good man/woman down. Continue to make lemonade out of lemons.

  • At 9:12 AM, Blogger Linda Rucker said…

    Janet, like I said, their loss is your gain! When you sell a hundred thousand copies of Pampas, be sure to send the accounting to Harper!
    It still amazes me how many truly wonderful authors get passed over by the 'big guys' daily simply because they aren't a celeb or a politician!
    Stupid publishers. One of these days...


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