Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Delivered! On Time!

The United States Postal Service now has the final edits of Eyes of Crow in their capable little hands (complain all you want about the new postage prices--those people get the job done for way under market value). It's due Friday and will probably arrive tomorrow or Thursday.

The marathon is over. No more chances to improve the novel, other than a few words here and there on the galley proofs, which I won't see until May. Any shiny new ideas about the world will have to go into Book 2, the proposal for which I'm supposed to be working on right...now.

But I'm not. I'm finding other things to do, because I don't want to think about it.

I used to be a monster procrastinator, but grad school cured me of that. See, I was in a professional program (Master's in Public Policy, which is like an MBA for Guvmint Types), and in professional programs, unlike academic ones, things are due when they're due. Students are reminded again and again that in the real world, employers don't like to hear excuses. In my classes, you were only excused from an exam or received an extension on a paper if you were dead.

So grad school (go Terps!) gave me the discipline to be a professional writer, and when I say 'professional,' I mean it as an attitude. Deadlines are not arbitrary and shouldn't be treated as such.

There are writers who always miss deadlines whose careers, on the surface, don't seem to suffer for it. But let's say the budget at Megalithic Publishing, Inc., has been cut, and the editor has to decide between offering new contracts for two of her midlist authors, whom, in a nod to Reservoir Dogs, we'll call Mr. Mauve and Mr. Chartreuse.

Mr. Mauve and Mr. Chartreuse have comparable sales and receive similar advances, but Mr. Chartreuse turns in his manuscripts anywhere from one to six weeks late. This tardiness forces everyone on MPI's end to work harder and faster to maintain the publication schedule. Maybe Ms. Editor has to change her vacation plans or spend less time editing other authors' material during this crunch period. If the author's really late, the publication schedule changes, which is a headache for publishers and book buyers alike.

Luckily, Mr. Chartreuse probably has a Ph.D. in arts or sciences to fall back on when his writing career tanks.

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3 Comments:

Do I detect snark in that last comment? I'm getting quite good at that. Anyway, let me be first to say congraulations, that is if Chris hasn't already.

Cecilia

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 2/14/2006 6:52 PM

Thanks, Cecilia!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 2/14/2006 9:40 PM

Way to go!

Posted by: Blogger Kathy at 2/15/2006 6:40 AM

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