Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Your Non-Negotiables by Andy Scheer

The acquisitions editor asked for a conference call.

She said her publication board really liked the nonfiction project, but also had concerns. Would the author be willing to make multiple changes?

What kind of changes, I said. Can you list them?

Let's set up a phone call, she said.

Turns out, my client's project encroached on uncomfortable territory. The denomination had not taken a stand on this point of potential controversy, and my client's manuscript would make a de-facto declaration they weren't prepared to take.

I hadn't expected this. My client comes from much the same church tradition. She had supported this view scripturally. And it underscored her key message. Still, my client agreed to hear the editor's concerns.

The editor found herself in a awkward spot. She really like the manuscript. She agreed with my client. But she had to respect her employer's position.

The call didn't take long. I backed my client's stand not to compromise her message.

To her, the project was more than just a manuscript. She'd been living it daily for decades – and had been writing it for nearly that long.

Of all the publishers who'd seen the proposal, only this house expressed interest. Now we had to tell them no.

Afterward, my client and I talked for nearly an hour. She'll update her proposal, including fresh stats and comments from people to whom her blog had ministered, people from categories of readers she'd not originally included. Today I researched some other publishers.

I know many readers need my client's message – unfettered. We trust that in due time, we'll find a publisher that agrees.

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