As the stupid virus makes another resurgence in the world, what’s going on at the nanomolecular level in my novel building? We’re in the endgame. I attach the latest mockup of the cover (extra black space is awaiting additional blurbs).
At this point five things are going on.
1. Waiting for three more promised blurbs. What’s a blurb you may ask. At random, I pull a paperback novel off my bookshelf. It’s Nathan Englander’s latest novel, kaddish.com (sic). On the back cover, he has his pic, a hundred word description of the novel, and four blurbs. For example; “Tender, wry and entertaining…Englander’s trademark humor is on display, but most striking and moving about kaddish.com is the unabashed sweetness of a son’s longing for a father.” --New York Times. Or, more succinctly, “Ingenious.” --Houston Chronicle. The blurbs that I don’t quote are equally laudatory and from the Wall Street Journal and Esquire. And then there are two additional pages of similar blurbs at the beginning of the book.
Englander's book is published by Vintage International, A Division of Penguin Random House, New York. The author, the publishing house, and the sources of the blurbs are all heavyweights. Alas, I’m not. So how do I get blurbs you ask. By importuning my important friends and traditionally published authors for blurbs, that’s how. The good news is that though those I’ve asked are all important people, and the novelists actually make a living from their writings, so none have much time on their hands, but nonetheless they are generous enough to help out this newby.
2. Finishing what I think is the fourth go around with a detailed proofreading of the novel with a professional proofreader.
3. This is the good part. Restarting the next (second) novel in the five book Eli Kurz MD, NICU series. The good news is that I have 30k words written. The other good news is that now I’m just wise enough to do a little planning before continuing the first draft. Howzzat? you say. I’m following the basic three act structure. But not slavishly. Enough not to have to do revisions to the nth power for lack of thinking things over. Thus my hope is the first draft of this next novel won’t be a big shaggy monster that has to be wrestled into shape over years. More about how to go about this specifically is planned for next week’s post.
4. I started to learn some marketing, specifically for books, more specifically for novels, yet more specifically for mainstream medical novels. To start, I’ve attended a great webinaire on how to market a book though goodreads. More on that too, later.
5. I just sent off the highly but not completely polished "very last draft" to my friend and highly skilled writer of fiction who did a recent post on this website. He's like how Obama characterized Biden as "being the last person in the room" before any big decision was finally made.