Thursday, August 25, 2005

Bay Area Tidbits

San Francisco Chronicle Jane Ganahl has been writing about her life as a single middle-aged woman trying to make sense of this cool, strange world. Her words have garnered notice, according to Publisher’s Marketplace:

“San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jane Ganahl's NAKED ON THE PAGE: My Unmarried Midlife in the Sunday Paper, a humorous and heartfelt memoir about the "dating at midlife" column she began writing at 49, to Ali Bothwell Mancini at Viking, in a very nice deal, by Ellen Levine at Trident Media Group.”

Another Bay Area writer, Matt Warshaw, whose has written two well-regarded books on surfing, scores another deal:

"Matt Warshaw's SURFING: A History, a comprehensive illustrated history of surfing from its Polynesian origins to the on-going pursuit of the 100-foot wave, to Sarah Malarkey at Chronicle, in a good deal, by Wendy Burton Brouws at For a Small Fee."

If you are in the stage I’m in – with a contract but an unfinished manuscript – you might find this article by Media Bistro’s Elizabeth Spiers helpful. It’s called, “How to be the Perfect Author.” (Via Welcome to the Hinterlands)

“The editor-author relationship is a collaborative one that inherently demands a willingness on the author's part to be receptive to feedback, open to re-thinking the material, and open to (as the title implies) editing.

"The best sort of author is someone who sees the benefit of editing and outside criticism," says Simon & Schuster Executive Editor, Geoff Kloske. "And the worst kind is the author who is going to argue with your every attempt to make them a better author."

Editing is implicitly a form of criticism and authors who don't take criticism well will likely find the process difficult and perhaps even antagonistic. But an author who views criticism as an arbitrary attack on the material is wasting the potential value of a good editorial suggestion.
"The worst sort of person who, when they give you a manuscript, is so exhausted and spent by it, they're upset by any sort of changes you want to make," says one editor. "They accuse you of not liking their book despite the fact that you paid money for it. They view the editor-author relationship as sort of a customer service relationship."

Naturally, I accept all criticism.

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