I had lunch with ah writer friend of mine – let’s call her Jane – last week. Since it was less than a week to the announcement about Carina Press I swore Jane to secrecy and told her all about it. My Myers-Briggs1 personality type is ENTP, which means I’m a social person. Trust me, we social types have a hard time keeping secrets. It had been months and I needed to tell the exciting news about the launch of a digital house to someone in the business2!
Jane was intrigued and asked lots of questions, especially about how the author was financially compensated. At first, Jane was puzzled by the lack of advance offset by high royalty, but after some discussion about reaching new markets, author and publisher utilizing social media to reach readers, Jane twigged on to how the digital arena is different and potentially appealing. Jane realized she could pitch a nontraditional story3 and potentially be amply rewarded if she hit a popular vein.
This part of our lunch I’d been expecting – I’d even honed my talking points – when the completely unexpected happened. Jane pitched me a book. A historical military mystery4.
And I began to get excited. In the olden days5 when I used to edit print books, I would have been intrigued by this idea but I would also have been trying to fit it into an existing category. After all, I couldn’t just make up a category6. Instead I would most likely have asked Jane to increase the romance, make the mystery more thriller-like or women-in-jeopardy type storyline and possibly move the story to Regency times.
But now I’m free. I can ask Jane to write the book she envisions and if I love it as much as she does then we’ll publish it. Our brilliant marketers will create a plan on how to sell it as a historical military mystery. Boo Yah!*
That’s why I’m excited!
1. Myers-Briggs – helps you figure out how to play nice with others. If you have taken 3 or more personality tests you need to face the hard truth that writing in a garret on the Left Bank in Paris may not be in your future and you are, in fact, a cubicle dweller.
2. business – family doesn’t count. They nod politely but their eyes glaze over as you carefully explain the difference between vampires and werewolves.
3. non-traditional – doesn’t include babies, weddings or cowboys
4. historical military mystery – something completely different!
5. olden days – aka the 1990s
6. make up a category? Freedom!
7. boo yah – military term for excitement.