Blog Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway: If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann
If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann was just released and I am thrilled to be a part of the blog tour and to share with you all a guest post from the author about her publishing experience. Check out all the book information as well as the tour wide giveaway!
Guest Post: Claire Kann
Quick note: I’m not sure why this keeps floating around but I don’t write fanfiction. Nothing against it—I’ve just never written it.
My sophomore publishing experience was hell 🙂 And I say that will all the affection in the world because while I learned so much about publishing and myself as a writer, living through it was quite terrible.
When I sold my first book, it was already written and polished. Then, I got my edit letter and spent eight months tearing it apart before sewing it back together again. My second book was sold on proposal. I had a few sample chapters and a synopsis consisting of where I thought the story would go and how it would end.
This was my first time writing an entire manuscript under contract and deadline. Usually, I write in fits and starts. One solid month on a draft, then I set it aside whether I reach The End or not. My attention has waned, and I want to move on. Two months later, I suddenly remember how much I loved that manuscript. Why did I ever stop writing that story!? I reread the whole thing and dive back into it with renewed vigor. My writing process really does not work with publishing deadlines. I’ve heard tales from fellow writers who’ve had as a little as six weeks to write an entire manuscript. I simply cannot do that.
Then there was the matter of the quality of the draft. Everyone told me it would be okay to turn in a super messy first draft. Editors were used to it! They don’t mind. Well, I minded. I could not get past accepting that something rough and unpolished would be read by an editor! She asked to just see it and I gasped like a scandalized belle in the south. “No” was my final answer.I wouldn’t even consider sending her a partial. The student in me jumped out. I wanted an A! I needed praise! I couldn’t turn in a something less than perfect!
On top of that, my story had changed from the initial proposal my publisher had bought. I realized what I was writing was ultimately going to be a Very Sad Book™. I loved what I had written, but I didn’t think my publisher would. By this time, my debut had been released and I suddenly had a Brand™. I felt the eye of reader expectations on me and I didn’t think they would like Very Sad Book™ either. So, I scrapped the whole thing (seven months of work!!) without ever turning it in (!!) and started again.
There were also upsetting hiccups with title changes, the cover, and this was around the time when I learned about publishing schedules. A writer is only the first cog in the book making machine. There are developmental editors, copy editors, proofreaders, designers, publicity and marketing—all with their own intense schedules and deadlines. The guilt in knowing me dropping the ball made their jobs that much harder crushed me.
Luckily, I have a very understanding and helpful editor who encouraged me to just write what I thought would be best and assured me we could fix anything that needed to be addressed during edits. The book would take as long as it took and that was that. But she was also very firm that I had to turn something in. Anything. She couldn’t help me if I didn’t turn it in, which makes obvious sense. Eventually, I managed to push past my southern belle roadblocks.
In the end, IIMYH’s pub date was pushed back a few weeks, but thankfully not a whole year. I’m very grateful for the publishing team I had while making my way through my sophomore slump.
* Print copy of If It Makes You Happy – open to US & Canada until June 13th.a Rafflecopter giveaway