Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Know It All with Guest Blogger Sherry Gloag

Meet author Sherry Gloag today at the Book Boost!

She's here to discuss “What do you think you know?” about the publishing industry.

Here's what she had to say...

Why does that inner voice nag when an author sits down to work?
Aspiring authors and readers often assume the more experienced the writer, the more assured they become. And of course in many ways this is true.

Authors who write for more than one publisher meet and work with different editors. Each editor has their own preferences and angles, as does the publisher the editors and author are working for.

And within that publisher’s remit the author may cover several different sub-genres that all have their own perspective on how the they must approach their subject. So over time authors learn to adjust their writing style to suit both the publisher they are targeting and the requests of their editors.

From a reader’s perspective this may sound simple, but believe me, even for the most experienced and adaptable writer it can present problems.

The author sets out to write a book that will catch their readers’ interest and bring them back again and again. Author’s aim to write, to maintain and improve the quality of writing, the story content, to create more rounded and believable characters. Their books are not just stories, they are also an advertising campaign. The quality of the first chapter will entice the new reader to keep turning the pages, while final chapter of the current book must entice those same readers to buy the author’s next book, and the one after that, and… Well you get my drift.

The publisher sets out to contract authors who will provide a quality product. – I use the word product advisedly here. – It may still be ‘a story/book/novel’ but to the publisher it is also a product, one among many, all competing for acceptance, all competing for a growing reader following. To do this the publisher, at some point, will take risks on new authors. They are looking for writers who not only offer a quality product/book, but ones they think will offer quality manuscripts on a regular basis. After all a publishers target, like the authors’, is to sell books and gather a robust reader following.

To do this they, like the author need to provide a quality product their readers will buy and keep coming back to them for more. Unlike the author, the publisher must do this over various genres and various ‘products’/book/authors. They have several ‘balls’ in the air at the same time, and if they drop one they must have an immediate replacement handy to keep the steady flow of production going without interruption.

And what of the editor? ‘The jam between the slices of bread’ you could say.

Like most artists, writers become so involved with their work it doesn’t matter how carefully they revise, self-edit and check yet again, errors slip through. It doesn’t matter how long the author leaves their work alone to give them space and a new perspective on their writing, their characters, their plot and their story, their brain and their eyes will still ‘float’ over some errors. They will ‘see’ what they intended to write, not what is on the page.

It may be a comma in the wrong place, a spelling error their spell-checker missed and they overlooked. But those errors will be there. And it is the editor’s job not only to spot and highlight these, but to point out the areas where writer-style and ‘in-house’ publishing style may not coincide. Writer and editor have to work to readjust the writing without compromising the story to accommodate their publisher’s house-style.

Add a deadline to the mix and suddenly there is a high-level stress factor involved, and up pops that nasty little voice saying, “What do you know?” Or worse, “Do you really think you can do all this in time?”

Having done it once, readers may be forgiven for assuming next time will be easier for the author, and in some ways it is. The author knows, to a degree, what they may expect. But the industry is constantly changing, advancing, shifting. For the modern-day author simply writing is no longer enough. They have to cope with their own promotion, which includes all things online from web and blog site creation to visiting hundreds of new sites tot tote their book. Virtual and ‘real’ book signings, most of those can be great fun, and so much more.

But seriously, there is so much that every author must address that once upon a time came under the publishers’ jurisdiction, is it any wonder that every so often that pesky little gremlin gets the chance to pipe up and ask, “What do you think you know?”

A Note from the Book Boost: Very well said, Sherry. You have really hit the nail on the head here with all the different sides of publishing. And after you get published, the work has only just begun! Thanks for joining us today. Please tell us more about your newest release.


She’d saved his life…

Rafe Hawk refuses to accept the inheritance, of a large English estate, and the title that goes with it, after his birth father’s death because the man chose duty over the woman he loved and their son.

So when he finds himself temporarily living at Kinsale Hall, he’s not prepared to trust anyone associated with the place, including Trudi Delaney and her daughter.

So why, when he looks into their eyes, does he suddenly remember a woman who may have lost her life after a storm while saving his over a decade ago?

Now he could destroy hers.

Instinct warns Trudi Delaney the arrival of the contemptuous American architect at Kinsale Hall will change her life forever. Especially when she discovers he spends so much of his time in areas of Kinsale Hall off-limits to visitors.

Eleven years after escaping from her psychotic husband with a stranger, she’s still plagued by nightmares of events she can’t remember. Events such as, who fathered her beautiful daughter?
Now more than a decade later, she is confronted by another stranger. Will this one destroy everything she holds dear?


“Stop the car!” Rafe Hawk swung round to face the driver. “I recognise this road. You never said the commission to build those retirement units was at Kinsale Hall. You know damn well I swore never set foot in the place again, eleven years ago.”

Rage hazed his vision. “You knew I’d refuse the commission if you’d revealed the location, and because you withheld that vital information, Arthur, this contract is null and void.” He shot forward in his seat when Arthur tramped on the brakes.

His friend from their Uni days skewed round in his seat. “How long have we known each other?”

Startled by Arthur Clifton’s question, Rafe hesitated. “What’s the length of our friendship got to do with anything? Other than the fact you’re stretching it very thin, if you think I’ll set foot on Kinsale territory again.” He swung open the car door and leaped out, his fingers tunnelling through his windswept hair.

Brilliant blue skies overhead offered a large playground for the early summer sunshine, and the fluffy white clouds sailing by. He saw the high chimney-tops through the trees.

“Do you really think I’d bring you here without a very good reason?” Arthur remained in his seat, his hands on the steering wheel, watching Rafe pace up and down the soft verge beside the open-topped car.

"I can't think of a single reason good enough that justifies you resurrecting events that nearly cost me my life, and possibly cost the life on an unknown woman."

Coming February 11th from Black Opal Books!

Want More Sherry?

Visit her website here:

Or her blog here:


SherryGLoag said...

Kerri, thank you for having me here today.

I'm looking forward to the new shared, upcoming project at night_writers.

Megan Johns said...

Great post, Sherry. It is so difficult writng to publishers' requirements and , as you rightly say, sometimes we fail to see what we have written in an objective light

Sherry Gloag said...

Thanks for coming by, and your kind words, Megan.
I hope things will soon settle down for you again with the half-term approaching - or has it approached? LOL