About six weeks ago, the manuscript I ghost-wrote* was accepted, ten days after receipt by the first publisher to whom we (the author and I) sent it, which was, not coincidentally, our first choice. We were handed over to a “book acquisition” man (B.A.M.) who, it appears, has the job of making sure a book is complete before it is recommended by him to those who draw up the contracts. (I don’t know if all/most publishers do this, or if it’s just for first-time authors, or what.) The BAM had several suggestions for new chapters and for beefing up the existing material.**
Although I had been content with the material we had, prior to the “beefing up”, I must now admit that Mr. BAM knows what he’s talking about; I am profoundly happy with the new material written, and am now deeply pleased with the result. It was, indeed, what the book needed.
The author mailed a CD*** of the manuscript — now 12,000+ words longer — on Monday. It was received by Mr. BAM on Wednesday, who then said that he’d reply by next Friday with his thoughts on the book.
Instead, we heard from him yesterday, a mere 24 hours after he received the book, with this:
“I’ll be honest with you. I hope we can be the ones to publish it. I love it. Now it’s a book that someone like me can read. … This book is FUN!!!!!“
So, next is contract negotiation. If you’re reading this, and especially if you know me in real life, and even more if you know the author in real life, please be praying that she is presented with a reasonable, solid contract. It’s not like she’s expecting to get rich off of the book, but I do so want her to be treated fairly. Well, actually, I want the publisher to be generous with her, but that might be too great an expectation. But, we continue to have favor with both God and man, which is very exciting (and has led me, in recent weeks, on a study of Nehemiah — who also had both — but that’s another topic altogether…), and leaves me with hope and an expectation that God will not let my dear friend down.
*Ghost writing varies a lot. In our case, all of the ideas (or a good 98% of them) were the original author’s. All of the teaching is hers. All of the stories are hers. I took her work, organized it, edited it, honed the focus in places, expanded it in others, and re-wrote virtually every word. My express goal was to have her read it and exclaim, “Yes! That is exactly what I was trying to say! Only now it sounds even better!” Mr. BAM said it this way: my friend is the author, and I am the writer.
**Daja, several of his suggestions were the same (or similar) to yours. So, by the time I got the manuscript that you had marked up, I was so pleased to read many of your comments and say to myself, “Already done!” It increased my confidence in Mr. BAM, in your own insight, and that, truly, all of us ARE hearing from God’s heart on this project. The same Spirit speaks the same things…
***Normally, mss are just e-mailed, but since this one contains a lot of pictures, the file was too large.