Not Good

Have had a pretty rough morning.

S told me that she’s signed up with a temp agency, but they weren’t too hopeful. When I pressed her as to why ‘they weren’t too hopeful’ she shrugged it off and said, ‘Everyone whose unemployed goes to the temp agency.’ As if I was the stupid one for even asking. She’s got a first class degree, has loads of work experience, and even taught a bit when she was in Thailand. That must qualify her for something.

Well, it does qualify her for one thing.

She and Pete are going to split the dog-walking/cleaning job between them. I’m none too happy about this, as that was supposed to be Pete’s income until he could find something else. And he wasn’t too bothered either, because he said he’s got a gig playing in a pub this weekend. It doesn’t pay, but ‘something will come of it.’ I’m not convenced.

Oh, and he’s growing a beard. Actually, I like a guy with a bit of stubble, but he’s not keeping it trimmed and I’m not digging on the whole mountain man look.

And work isn’t going too swimmingly either. I gave Loraine my notes regarding edits to Conspiracy’s book. I finished off the book last week, and typed up my notes first thing this morning. Here’s the problem. Conspiracy doesn’t need a lot of editing. The book really isn’t my style, but it’s well written and quite a page turner. Plus, man-fiction (like James Patterson and Lee Child type stuff) is supposed to be all the rage. It totally fits into that category but with the dystopian setting that is also popular at the moment. It’s not a sequel to the last book, but it’s definitely in the same vein. So why isn’t his first book selling?

Loraine and I went over my notes and had a chat. She thinks the biggest problem is that the small publisher he’s with can’t get him into the major chains (Tescos, ASDA and WH Smith), which is where his book would definitely sell. (Yes, anyone’s book would sell in these stores, but they’re particularly helpful to man-fiction. Actually, mostly women buy man-fiction – they pick it up for their men while shopping. Yes, it’s a stereotype, but I guess a true one.) He needs to be with a bigger publisher, but since his first book fell flat she can’t seem to get anyone to pick up the second. Oh, and some smaller publishers are distributed by larger publishers – not an imprint type situation, just a deal between the two companies. It helps the small publisher because they get out to a wider market, and it helps the larger publisher because they can get extra money off a book they didn’t have to pay to produce. However, Conspiracy’s publisher isn’t in this situation just yet.

She was glad that my editing notes matched her own. Nothing really to be done to the novel, per se. And actually, Loraine says she feels really bad for Conspiracy. She should have never picked him up as a client in the first place if she didn’t feel like she could place him with exactly the right publisher. Or, she shouldn’t have jumped to work with the small publisher. But she also said that she’s right annoyed at Conspiracy as well. He’s not helping himself, and because of that she strongly feels like it’s time to call the relationship quits.

I’m to finish up the events I’ve already organised, but I’m not to spend any further time on him. She’ll review the situation in a few months to see if these events have had any residual sales or interest by foreign publishers, but if not she’s cutting him loose.

And, I can’t tell him any of this. So, I just have to go to the event tonight, happy as you like, trying to sell an author whose career has died before it even begun. So not in a good mood.

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