So, to recap, I’ve been seeking a publisher to handle “A Creature of Flame and Desire.” Granted, it’s going to be a niche publication–in other words, it’s not going to be a huge seller on the Patteron or King level. A biography of Pola Negri isn’t going to make anyone rich–I did the book out of love and belief that she deserved a proper biography. I targeted a publisher whose niche actually is entertainment biographies. I thought–and still think–they would be perfect to handle it.
So I sent them a query letter–I sweated bullets over that thing–and revised the entire manuscript per their guidelines. Took me about two weeks to do. They came back and asked me Mariusz Kotowski’s latest biography–I am record with my displeasure over it–and asked them if they would like to read mine. They said, “yes!” I was thrilled! I mean, just getting them to read it is half the battle. I figured they would like it and we would put together a deal and the book would come out in a year and I could get a 2nd Pola Negri tattoo (yes, I do have one already).
Not so fast, sport fans!
I sent the manuscript–and for four weeks there was nothing. I finally had to send in multiple emails to get their attention. When they responded, they indicated they wanted to publish my manuscript. HOORAY! As an e-book: WHAT? No hard back…no paperback…just an e-book.
I turned them down. First of all, I understand why they would want to do it as an ebook. I mean, I’ve done the formatting, the cover art, obtained and inserted the pictures, i.e., I’ve done all the work. All they would have to do is stick it up on the internet to be sold through the likes of Amazon. For this, I am expected to sign over the rights to my manuscript–that’s not unusual either. But here’s the thing: I could do all this, dispense with them, and get the same distribution through Amazon and keep my rights. In other words, I would need them–why?
Second thing is, I want this published in at least a paperback format. The book is good, very good and it deserves a paperback and ebook. I’ve put a great deal of work into writing it–and i didn’t do it to make money off the thing–I did it to publish my best writing effort–which this book is. As I said, I wrote the book because I thought Miss Negri deserved a proper biography So, I declined–a decision I don’t regret–for the moment. We will continue to see if we can’t find someone who is willing to put it out in the format I expect. It just contradicts the old adage: never look a gift horse in the mouth. It may be a Trojan horse.