Happy Tuesday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass! My thanks to Sarah at Titan Books for the invitation to join and for the fab review copy. I was unable to read the book in time for the blog tour but look out for my review in the next few weeks. Today though, author Seraphina Nova Glass visits the blog to talk about “5 things you need to know about traditional publishing”. First, here is what Someone’s Listening is all about!
Author : Seraphina Nova Glass
Title : Someone’s Listening
Pages : 352
Publisher : Titan Books
Publication date : October 6, 2020
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
Faith Finley has it all: she’s a talented psychologist with a flourishing career, a bestselling author and the host of a popular local radio program, Someone’s Listening, with Dr. Faith Finley. She’s married to the perfect man, Liam Finley, a respected food critic.
Until the night everything goes horribly wrong, and Faith’s life is shattered forever.
Liam is missing—gone without a trace—and the police are suspicious of everything Faith says. They either think she has something to hide, or that she’s lost her mind.
And then the notes begin to arrive. Notes that are ripped from Faith’s own book, the one that helps victims leave their abusers. Notes like “Lock your windows. Consider investing in a steel door.”
As the threats escalate, the mystery behind Liam’s disappearance intensifies. And Faith’s very life will depend on finding answers.
| GUEST POST |
Traditional Publishing: The Five Things To Know
* IT’S SLOW
It’s so very slow. I signed a multi-book deal with Harper Collins in May 2019, and the first book, Someone’s Listening, came out a year and three months later. It’s quite the hurry-up-and-wait business. My second book, Such A Good Wife, was finished ages ago, and I am waiting another year for it to release. Fellow authors who have been in it much longer than me tell me to be happy I have the time now, because it’s better than rushing to the next deadline. I can see that, but if you decide to go the traditional route with a Big Five publisher, be prepared to sit back and relax a while. There are long editing processes, cover art, marketing, even a season your book best fits into to consider among many other factors, and all this takes time and will help your book shine, so curb your expectations and be patient.
Maybe this is because I have been working in screenwriting the last few years, but I was taken with how much my editor respected my work. As a screenwriter, I have experienced many of the horror stories people hear about. I was working with a producer on a script. After a few drafts, he sent it to another writer, changed it enough to avoid a law suit, and made the movie without ever paying me a cent. On a short film I wrote, I remember the director rewriting scenes while he shot the film with no permission from me, the writer. Now, I have an editor who not only requests very few changes from me, I am asked to approve every change down to minor punctuation. Nothing is taken for granted. The level of professionalism and respect was astounding to me. I’m glad to have finally found my writing niche.
* COVERS AND TITLES
I have way less control over things like covers and titles than I do over book content. Things went so smoothly for book one. They did not change the title, and the very first cover art they sent to my agent and me, we both loved right away (which apparently is rare.) There was no back and forth on any of that, just easy agreement. So, I had a rude awakening on my second book; they wanted to change my title. I was slightly outraged at first because it thought my title tied in so well. We went back and forth with dozens of titles, and it was stressful. They pitched me a title I vehemently rejected, and it ultimately became the title anyway! I warmed up to it after a while. Be okay with giving up control of this stuff because really, they know what sells. They know the covers and titles that work in the current market, what’s hot, what’s not being met with enthusiasm. I know nothing about marketing and the nuances of the business. So, give your two cents, but then let it go.
* AUTHOR COPIES AND PUB DATES
To be fair, this is probably so anticlimactic since I debuted in a pandemic, but man it wasn’t the celebration I thought it would be. You wait for what feels like a few lifetimes to get the huge book deal, and to finally get your author copies, but there was no fanfare, they just materialized in a box on my porch, unannounced. I opened them when I was home alone, and made my dog, Spaghetti, give me a high five. That was sort of it. Then publication day came, and it seemed like there should be a band or something, or I would see immediate sales info or reviews, but no. It was like any other day. I did the dishes, walked the dog, did some work, and waited for something exciting to happen, but that was it. The other stuff–sales info, seeing it on bookshelves, reviews–that stuff takes time. Because as I said, publishing is so slow.
People can be jerks. Maybe this is why some of us become writers, we like the solitary lifestyle that goes with it, away from jerks. The thing is, not every book is for every reader. You cannot please everyone. It’s impossible, yet everyone feels like they can comment on your hard work. All my literary reviews were good so that set my expectations for when the consumer reviews would roll in. These days anyone can review anything, and say whatever they want. Yes, you need to have a thick skin in this business they say, but that’s way easier said than done. You read a five star review saying it’s the best book they’re read this year, and the next is a one star saying your protagonist is TSTL (which upon looking up means “too stupid to live.”) Not exactly the complex, thoughtful reviews I was hoping for. You’ll get it from all sides and you really do need to let it go and just work on your next book. (I’m admittedly still working on taking my own advice on that one though.)
| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |
Seraphina Nova Glass is a professor and Playwright-in-Residence at the University of Texas – Arlington, where she teaches Film Studies and Playwriting. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Smith College, and has optioned multiple screenplays to Hallmark and Lifetime. Someone’s Listening is her first novel. She tweets at @SeraphinaNova.