Monday, 3 December 2012

Bad news about my book

I am writing this in floods of tears. I've just heard from my agent that my two books, that I gave up other work and holidays for and slaved to complete in ten weeks because of the publisher's ridiculously tight deadline, are not going to be published after all, as Amazon have refused to list them because they have deemed them too sexy for teenagers.

I have been paid for the first one, but that's not the point. Originally, the book was written as a soft, sensual romance for an adult readership. Then I was asked to lower the characters' ages and put in lots of explicit sex, which I did. This required writing two brand new books to take the place of the single 85,000 word original. Only last Friday, I had an email saying if I could find any places to add even more sex, please do so.

Now I am being asked to rewrite both books and take out all the sex and change it to dreamy romance. That loses the whole point of the books. It also negates one of the characters, who is a raunchy, bouncy girl full of dirty jokes. I am too exhausted and dispirited even to contemplate it. I have discovered that the whole sex thing was driven by the French publishing market, who wanted steam. Now they have back-tracked. So I have the Frogs to blame for the whole thing.

I was so happy about becoming a published author again after an eight year hiatus. I felt that at last I had my identity as a writer back again and had something to look forward to. All my friends were poised to buy the book. I'd even told Margaret Drabble about it when we met on that coach journey last week! I had bought the champagne to drink on publication day. I had a lunch booked with my agent in the Midlands tomorrow and had bought the train ticket and now that's been cancelled as she says we've got nothing to celebrate. She says that if they decide to ditch it and the book needs re-selling for the adult market, then she can't handle it because she is purely an agent for children's literature, so I will be left high and dry.

I can't tell you how upset I am. I feel as if my world has fallen apart - and to cap it all, I have toothache again, in a different tooth this time. If the world ends on the 21st as the Mayans predicted, I don't give a stuff, the way I'm feeling right now. I feel as if mine has ended already.


Teresa Ashby said...

What a blow! I'm so sorry - it's so unfair after all the hard work you put in and especially when you'd been specifically asked to make so many changes and now they want more - of course you feel exhausted and dispirited.

If you really can't face the changes, could you try another publisher - Xcite books for instance?

Hugs xx

hydra said...

I think it will fall between two stools, Teresa. Not kinky enough for the adult market and too explicit for the teenage one. The publishers completely got it wrong. I can't tell you how miserable I feel! Thanks for the hugs. I mentioned the book on everybody's Xmas cards and I've already stamped all the envelopes. So I can add loss of face to my woes. Just ignore the message on yours!

Jacula said...

Loss of face is not something you have to contemplate amongst writing friends, hydra. However, I really do think you need to change your agent.

Jacula said...

I also think you may need to start writing for adults

Caroline said...

Hugs. Sorry I'm late posting - been away for a few days! Caroline x

Jenny Woolf said...

I'm really sorry about this. I know so many writers who have been messed around by publishers, it's just not funny. I hope you can find a way to salvage some of this mess.