She’s here today to talk about what it means to be published in two different countries. She has a lot to say about how the dual publication affects editing, promotion and even paying taxes.
Welcome Donna Fletcher Crow!
Swimming the Pond
As I enter this exciting and scary world of virtual book tours I'm still smiling about the irony of talking about an ecclesiastical thriller on a blog named "Straight from Hel." And I must say any qualms I might have had were much soothed when I opened the blog and found fields of Texas bluebells and Helen's charming smile welcoming me. Thank you so much, Helen, for hosting me.
First, a word about the story. Felicity Howard, a wide-eyed, strong-willed, full-steam-ahead young American woman, who found teaching Latin to London school children boring, takes herself off to remotest Yorkshire to study in a theological college run by monks. Well, what else can she do with a classics degree? When her favorite monk is brutally murdered and Felicity finds her church history lecturer with blood all over his hands the fun really begins.
So I have a very American heroine in a very English setting .(I always have American heroines when using contemporary English settings— it gives me an excuse for the inevitable mistakes.) And, surprise, surprise, when I had my first telephone conversation with my new agent whom I had only met electronically, I discovered that she is English, living in America. So we quickly agreed that, given the fact that the ecclesiastical thriller subgenre is primarily an English invention, an English publisher would be the way to go.
I have been absolutely thrilled with the process. Of course, as we all know, the Internet puts the world at our fingertips, greatly simplifying such international alliances. Perhaps I should mention at this point that, although I have published 30-some books, I had been out of circulation for a decade. That made publishing A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE like starting a whole new career. Ten years ago contracts didn't mention electronic rights. Manuscripts were sent in hard copy. Editors sent notes on little yellow post-um notes. Authors didn't have web sites or blogs or Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. . . "O wonder! . . .O brave new world, That has such people in't!"
Other than the fact that the ground had shifted under my feet, and that my husband spent months trying to get the IRS to certify with the Inland Revenue that I am a US taxpayer, the first substantial difference I noticed was in the editing process. Never in 30 years in the business have I been edited so thoroughly. I can only hope that my editor in Oxford got paid something near what she was worth (as if anyone in this business does) because she did a simply heroic job and by answering all the questions she raised I believe the story was dramatically improved. And then the copy editor didn't merely correct my capitalization and comma usage, but had her own substantive questions. I hope I was able to communicate my appreciation to them.
And now I'm working with two publicists and two release dates, wanting the English release to be a success, but not able to get there to do any events or signings on site and with my American publicist warning me not to do too much advance promotion because it will just irritate people who can't get the book yet and will forget about it by September. And with my American enthusiasms I have the feeling I'm driving my very polite and very understated English publicist quietly mad as he has to explain to me yet again that "That really isn't done here as it is in America." It's a bit of a tightrope walk stretched over a very wide pond, but I'm loving every minute of it.
And if you're reading this in America, please, please put your name on the "notify me when it's available" list on Amazon so my American publicist won't be mad at me.
P. S. Helen has kindly invited me back after the US release, so we can see how it's all working out then.
Thank you, Donna!
Donna will be back in October to talk about the U.S. release of A Very Private Grave. I’m looking forward to that.
Donna is an enthusiastic gardener and you can see pictures of her garden and watch the book trailer at her website. At her site, you can also order A Very Private Grave in either country by clicking either Amazon (for the US version) or Amazon UK.
Feel free to ask her about her cross-continents publications, writing historicals, or what she’s working on next.