Sean Rowe navigates the publishing world

The Florida-based author of FEVER doesn’t just have a hell of a “road to publication” story to tell, he offers tips on what he’s learned with publishing that are, well, rather amusing:

You will go broke. That six-figure advance? Here’s what

happens to it. Federal income taxes eat 27 percent. Now pay your

literary agent 15 percent and spend a few thousand more on state income

taxes. Finally, you get to pay back all the debt you’ve accumulated in

recent years, much of it directly related to writing the book. When

it’s all over, you have about enough left for a new pair of socks and a

Whopper with cheese.

Your ex-girlfriend will sell your soul on eBay. You inscribe

an advance review copy of your novel and hand-deliver it to an old

flame. Weeks later, she calls you and mentions that she was cleaning

house recently and sold your book on eBay. For three bucks.

There will be no groupies. Rock stars have groupies. Aspiring rock stars have groupies. Aspiring rock stars who live in their mothers’ basements have groupies. You will have no groupies.

No one will tell you shit. What’s the first print

run? What’s the promotional budget? Will there be a book tour? If so,

how extensive? Finally, how are sales going? These seem like reasonable

questions, but after e-mailing New York for the tenth time and

receiving polite brush-offs, you will learn to stop asking.

Your second novel will suck. Why do so many second

novels prove to be stinkers? It’s not just the psychological pressure

to live up to a successful first one, though that’s part of it. It’s

because, from the moment you sign that contract, you may have as little

as a year to deliver the goods. In reality, you’ll have six months,

because you will still be working your day job, waiting for the advance

to arrive so that you can quit. And guess when the deadline for your

second novel occurs? Precisely when you are spending eighteen hours a

day promoting your first one.

And that’s exactly why you get novel #2 done before you sign on the dotted line for novel #1, if at all possible…

I don’t agree with all of Rowe’s assertions, if only because I thought Oline Cogdill made her case plenty well for why she didn’t care for the book.