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Thread: What Will You Stand For?

  1. #11
    Banned Jabrosky's Avatar
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    I have similar concerns as yours, Mindfire, and frankly for reasons already mentioned I'll probably self-publish anyway. I want more control over my product too.

  2. #12
    Junior Member Kim's Avatar
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    I understand what you mean, Mindfire. There are some things in my books that I don't want to change. Fortunately I have found a publisher that likes the stories I write, but I think I don't have any chance to be published by a Dutch publisher that is considered one of the big publishers in the Netherlands. Thats the choise I made.

    But I think you should listen to the publisher before you put your demands on the table. I have changed a lot after my publisher had read the story. I am sure his suggestions made the story better, some times the story was more how I wanted it to be after the changes.

  3. #13
    Moderator T.Allen.Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mindfire View Post
    I've pretty much accepted that this will make my work a harder sell.
    It will be much more difficult. The odds of any new author attracting a traditional publisher's interest and actually signing a deal are slim at best. Placing further restrictions and limitations that would be likely to queer any deal, changes the chances to infinitesimal levels.
    "What lasts in the reader's mind is not the phrase but the effect the phrase created: laughter, tears, pain, joy. If the phrase is not affecting the reader, what's it doing there? Make it do its job or cut it without mercy or remorse."
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  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by T.Allen.Smith View Post
    It will be much more difficult. The odds of any new author attracting a traditional publisher's interest and actually signing a deal are slim at best. Placing further restrictions and limitations that would be likely to queer any deal, changes the chances to infinitesimal levels.
    Maybe. But if they didn't want to publish the book I wrote in the first place, what's the difference really? The things that i listed are pretty much the heart and soul of the work (except for the cover obviously). If they make my main character white, or take out the religions I painstakingly built, or add dragons and sex just to attract more readers, it's not really the same book is it? It'd be like they'd never published it at all. The only difference is the money. And I'm not writing for money.

    Also, I'd like to believe, however irrationally, that publishers know better than to display gross racial insensitivity.
    Inter Lineas Legite

  5. #15
    If you have any qualms about how a publisher will handle your work, publish it yourself. That is all.

  6. #16
    Moderator T.Allen.Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mindfire View Post

    Maybe. But if they didn't want to publish the book I wrote in the first place, what's the difference really? The things that i listed are pretty much the heart and soul of the work (except for the cover obviously). If they make my main character white, or take out the religions I painstakingly built, or add dragons and sex just to attract more readers, it's not really the same book is it? It'd be like they'd never published it at all. The only difference is the money. And I'm not writing for money.

    Also, I'd like to believe, however irrationally, that publishers know better than to display gross racial insensitivity.
    If these things are that important to you (and it's obvious they are) then you should stick to your guns.

    I'm not trying to dissuade you from following your desires. I'm merely trying to point out that it may be unrealistic for that publishing model.

    Either way, I wish you success in the endeavor.
    "What lasts in the reader's mind is not the phrase but the effect the phrase created: laughter, tears, pain, joy. If the phrase is not affecting the reader, what's it doing there? Make it do its job or cut it without mercy or remorse."
    - ISAAC ASIMOV

  7. #17
    Moderator Ankari's Avatar
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    What if the publisher points out that your novel can be perceived as an attack against a major real world religion? One of your points was that they couldn't alter your religions. What if the "evil" religion was too close to a real world religion? Don't they have the right to ask you to alter the religion as it may exclude a certain significant consumer base?

    Also, I understand that black characters are very thin in the fantasy realm. I've always wondered about that. But why do you think the publishing company would portray your characters any differently than what you describe them as?
    Buy the Iron Pen Anthology: Volume 1 from Barnes & Noble or Amazon

  8. #18
    While there are several things I'd ideally keep as they are in my WIP, if it came down to it I'd negotiate with the publisher over certain things. My main character is aromantic, for example, a decision taken in part to distance myself from the train wreck that is The General's Secret and in part in reaction to the fact that everything has a romantic sub-plot. But if a publisher wanted me to include one, and would walk if I didn't, I'd do it, but try to do it my own way. Then if they, say, ask me to make all the main characters white or try to get me to make characters fit into more archetypal roles, the evil king, the comic relief, etc, I would have the negotiating capital to say no. I don't see why a publisher should be willing to back down on their requests if I'm not at least as willing to accommodate them; it's about compromise.
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  10. #19
    Banned Jabrosky's Avatar
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    In all honesty, Mindfire, I'd be shocked if a modern publisher insisted on racially whitewashing characters you explicitly describe as black. I'd think they would appreciate diversity in their books' content. The only reason I could see the issue coming up at all in your case is because your world's major black culture (the Mavarians) has a strong Egyptian flavor, and for better or worse ancient Egyptians are stereotyped in popular culture as lighter-skinned. Even then, you could claim Nubia rather than Egypt as your inspiration.

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  12. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Ankari View Post
    What if the publisher points out that your novel can be perceived as an attack against a major real world religion? One of your points was that they couldn't alter your religions. What if the "evil" religion was too close to a real world religion? Don't they have the right to ask you to alter the religion as it may exclude a certain significant consumer base?

    Also, I understand that black characters are very thin in the fantasy realm. I've always wondered about that. But why do you think the publishing company would portray your characters any differently than what you describe them as?
    Honestly, I'm less concerned about a publisher suggesting changes because I seem to be attacking a real world religion than I am about them suggesting changes because I seem to be supporting one. I don't "preach" in my books at all, but certain elements do have a Judeo-Christian flavor, much like Lord of the Rings (if you'll pardon the comparison).

    As for why a publisher might whitewash my characters, I don't know of an incident where it's actually happened, so I might be paranoid, but I have heard about this. Whitewashing is a distasteful business.
    Inter Lineas Legite

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