Sorry for the delay.
I've been going over what's been happening & it's taken a while for it all to sink in.
Was in H&M looking at hopeless bikinis when The Call came. Well, it was partner actually, all excited saying my agent had just phoned & could I ring her. So I hurried out to a quiet garden square to make the call, notebook & pen at the ready to take down what she said.
It's not good news I'm afraid. I can still hear her saying that. The editor is very, very apologetic, she loved meeting me and thinks, as did my agent, that I did a really good job with the 3 book proposals but she didn't get a great reaction from her sales department. She was told they already have authors on their list writing for my kind of audience who she must focus on. They didn't see how my books were very different to those authors. What I'm doing is really what they should be writing and she's got to work on breaking them through.
Agent said it's just really bad timing. In six months' time it might be a different story but I mustn't hold anything up to that as no tends to mean no. Commercial fiction for the older reader isn't doing as well as expected. She can't really work it out. There are loads of older readers out there. She thinks it may be aspirational fiction they want, Richard & Judy, where they can learn something from a novel, be enriched. The more commercial end of the market is struggling and the upmarket commercial is not doing as well as it should.
She'd thought long and hard about why my book wasn't, in the end, picked up. There was another editor, too, another senior women's fiction editor from one of the major majors who liked it. Some of her readers weren't so sure though and she wanted to see the whole novel before making a final decision. Then a few weeks later I got an email saying she'd shown it to the CEO of the whole frigging company, also a woman in her 50s, who'd said no. So that was that. No point in going back there.
She then went on to talk about my writing more in depth, she's an amazing agent to have & it's not The End just yet. She's not dropping me. I told her about my other genre book & I am now going to concentrate on that for a few months. The agency is really strong in that area and though she doesn't represent those sort of books directly she would certainly pass it on to her speciality reader.
The saddest thing is how well the meeting with the editor went. She was so so lovely, completely got what I was doing and it all seemed so incredibly positive, talking 3, 4 books way into the future, discussing what name I'd call myself as my real name is similar to another author's, the large print-runs and marketing next to none. Followed up by email to my agent confirming how well it had all gone. Ah well, another zig in the zig-zag of it all. Not much'll change. I'll carry on writing of course. There's self-publishing if I'm so inclined, which I'm not, an offer of an e-book, which does excite me. Getting stuck right into the other genre book is priority though. I was 25% through the first draft when I left it. It's been good going back and reading about things I'd forgotten about and going wow! to myself. I'm transferring it all to index cards now. I've learnt a few things about plotting along the way that are going to blast the rewrite into a different league.
Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.