It has come to my attention that some of the world thinks that I am an egotistical jerk because of my response to the person who contacted me regarding the titling of Dead River.
Why, yes, I am. I am SOOOOOO important, being published by a Big-6 publisher, and you all, if you are not, are nothing.
I've found there is no way for me to say who my publisher is without looking like a big, conceited blow-hard, which is why I deleted part of the post. (Thank goodness for screen shots!) Actually, here's the thing: Being published by a major publisher does not make an author feel better than anyone else-- in fact, usually, it scares the crap out of them.
I know, boo-hoo-hoo, you got paid to write and aw it's so awful. Go shut up now, Cyn. I'll admit, that part is awesome! But:
Firstly, when it happens, you think that you're a fluke. You think that just about anyone in the world, even a few monkeys working in a room round the clock for a year, can ALSO be published by a major publisher, if only the stars aligned correctly.
Secondly, because of the first point, you live in fear that you will never have another book published. You likely got an okay advance, and so your life is devoted to making sure that advance earns out to please the "Big Publisher Gods" that you "work" for. You become a slave to the numbers, because you want to make this your career and you want your bosses to be happy with you and not think you're a big turd.
Thirdly, because you are not Suzanne Collins, you did not get as much promotion as you would have expected from a large publisher. In fact, you probably got next to nothing. And so while you are sitting at a signing twiddling your thumbs and watching people snatch your bookmarks away and use them as tissues, you think of all the money that YOU YOURSELF put into those bookmarks, and wonder if you should have spent ALL your advance money on promoting yourself, instead of half of it. You set up a blog and a website and a facebook and twitter account even though you don't like all that crap and are a very private person, just because you know that's what they expect of you. You wrack your head trying to think of things to tell people that are interesting, so they don't forget about you and your books, and meanwhile because you are a social nitwit you make it seem like you are a conceited jerk who hates reviewers and writers and basically anyone who might read your book.
Fourthly, also because you are not Suzanne Collins, when your editor tells you to change this, you change it. When they tell you to go to this place, you go there. When they tell you to spin around in circles while patting your head and rubbing your belly, you do that, too. Because they know what they're doing... they work for a well-known publisher, after all. And I could be a monkey. I don't pretend for one moment that I have any sparkling knowledge or talent that nobody else has. This isn't about "art", and about how sparkly and wondrous and unique your prose is, and how like murdering baby chipmunks it would be to alter it. It's about business. It's about you-and-your-work-are-not-divine. It's about what will sell. And the team at a publisher works hard to figure that out. So I couldn't change the title of Dead River if I wanted to. It's in my publisher's hands. If they thought it would sell better if it were called Poop River, I'd go with it. Reluctantly.
Those are what I can think of off the top of my head. I know I am hugely fortunate to have been published by a major publisher, and NOT the other way around-- it's a dream I've had since I was a kid. Despite the above, it's still wonderful. And it's one I know that anyone can experience, should they choose, with the right amount of luck and patience. And maybe a monkey.