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Sadie1
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Northern?

 


Amy-Einhorn wrote:

Very glad you ended up liking it. As I just told another reader, I hadn't heard before this discussion that people were finding the beginning choppy or hard to follow --  these discussions are certainly valuable, too bad we can't have them for all of our books while we're editing them!  That said, I do think when you have a third person omniscient narrator and more than one main character, there's some inevitable adjustment time that a reader needs to allow themselves to get into the flow of the book.  

 

Re: the specific scenes you reference - Frankie's period I didn't think was gratuitous -- to me it really placed me in the time period in terms of what that entailed back then for women -- the washing out of the panties, the sanitary napkins such as they were, and the fact that yes, Frankie wasn't relieved at getting her period, it never really crosses her mind, she's not a typical woman  of the time if you will, she's a bit fearless and single-minded, it never seems to occur to her that she could get pregnant. Also, I do think Frankie's getting her period contrasts nicely to Emma's not getting hers -- to be honest both strike me as fairly non-maternal which is interesting given at that time it seems one of the few things women were relegated to do. 

 

 And re: your point about Iris' letter at the beginning of the book, well to me that shows so much -- her preconceived notions of what a man might want, her wanting to follow the "rules" as she envisions them but yet she then doesn't follow the rules in so many ways later on (both in her affair and in her not delivering the letter).

 

The typos and other mistakes hopefully will have all been caught for the final book -- keep in mind you are reading an advance galley so we're still making minor corrections for the final book.


 

 

Amy,

I want Sarah to do well in selling this book.  It is a great story.

 

If you would read the "First Impressions" thread you will see that many of us had problems getting into the book due to the choppiness of it in the beginning.  There are pages and pages of people saying that on that thread.

 

I agree that people need to allow time to get into the book when they first start reading a book..I have to do this many times on many books.  I give a book a chance, but know of many others that won't.  If they aren't grabbed from the beginning they will put it down.  Unfortunately, people standing in the book store debating whether they will buy this book or not will not have you telling them they need to allow time to get into it.  I'm just trying to help here.

 

When I go to Barnes and Noble, there are people sitting around grazing on books.  If that grazer grazes this book, they are going to put it down and walk out of the store empty handed.  I don't want that to happen to Sarah's book.  This is a great story and needs to be read by many, men and women.

 

As for the period and Frankie, I and others felt like it was just thrown in for a shock factor type of thing.  It had nothing at all to do with the story...just filler.  The filler was not needed.  It didn't set the time period either..the time period was already set.  Women were still doing that in the 70's.

 

Iris and the letter...many have the same thoughts on this too that I have. 

 

This is my first time participating in the "first look club", I thought that the people behind the scenes on this book would be looking at all the threads to see what people are thinking.  If I were the author and publisher, I would want to know what the first impressions of this book were for marketing purposes.  Maybe I am way off base here and my marketing skills are kicking in when they shouldn't be.

 

Suffice it to say, I will be spreading the word that this is a good book.

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Cobalt-blue4
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

 

Interesting...the flaps are for writing the reader's thoughts and quotes from the book. I used each flap as a bookmark dependent upon how far along I was in the book. The blank pages were used for my own writings. 

Amy Einhorn Wrote: Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?[ NEW ]

So glad you liked the packaging. What you have is actually a bound galley -- so the final book will be a regular hardcover.  The galley you have is for early readers like yourself, reviewers, publicity purposes, etc. etc.  We put flaps on the galley or "french flaps" as they're called in our industry, because it's a special book and we think/hope the flaps signify that it's a special book -- it also allows us more room for copy -- a regular galley usually only has the back cover of the book where you can put quotes and the plot description but the flaps obviously allow for more.

 

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Amy-Einhorn
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

Bonnie:  Great catch, yes, I think the significance of that was intended as well, don't think you're reading too much into it at all!--amy

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Amy-Einhorn
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

If only I could tell what would absolutely make a bestseller!  To be honest none of us know. As you readers know, there are times you might read a book and love it ,only to find out that none of your friends have heard of it and in fact the sales were quite low -- or the opposite, you read a book everyone is reading that's a big bestseller only to scratch your head after finishing it ,wondering what everyone likes about it.  No one can really say what makes a bestseller.  What I say in my introduction is that now, as THE POSTMISTRESS is going out into the world, it's starting to FEEL like a bestseller because the reaction from booksellers and early readers has  been so wonderful and that kind of buzz that's starting is usually what happens when a book is going to work. 

 

But if I was going to have criteria for what makes a bestseller -- or rather a bestseller that's a book I would publish (the distinction is important as often I might read a submission and know it could work but that I wouldn't be the right publisher for it)-- I'd say it has to be about a character or characters you really care about and are invested in. I don't tend to publish novels about ideas -- I publish novels about people and usually they're people you care passionately about.  To me there has to be someone you're rooting for.  And there has to be a real story that makes you turn the pages.  Beautiful writing is wonderful but if it's navel-gazing and there's no story, to me that's quiet and a bit boring.   

 

It's so tough to make a bestseller so if I'm going to take something on, I myself have to be incredibly passionate about it as I'm going to be living with it, and advocating for it, for the next two years usually.  And finally, when considering a book I always ask myself, "Are there five people I know who would love this book?"  If the answer is yes, then I know I'm at least heading in the right direction.

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Choisya
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

 

I would like to point out here that water was 'rationed' during the war, or at least we were encouraged to use less of it, and so Frankie washing her soiled panties with other clothing was what folks did.  Bloodstained things were first soaked in salt and water and then washed - salt dislodged the stains.    When Eleanor Roosevelt visited Buckingham Palace during the war she was shocked to be told that she could only have 5 inches of water in her bath (and that the King and Queen ate only 'rations', like their subjects).    Water supplies were often disrupted by bombing and all over the bomb sites water squirted out of the ground. Priority was given to saving people so it took quite a while to get underground pipes repaired and supplies back to normal.  
I don't think the period/panties scenes were gratuitous at all, they showed yet another of the privations which women had to endure at that time.  Sanitary towels were in short supply and my mother resorted to using torn up nappies and sheets.  Washing them was a nightmare - soap was on ration too - and women went to great lengths to prevent them being seen by the menfolk.   

Bonnie_C wrote:

Amy,

I loved your story about rejecting and then un-rejecting the manuscript for The Postmistress.  I can only imagine the excitement your phone call to Sarah Blake must have created.  Good decision on your part to stick with it.  I agree with your statement in the introductory letter at the beginning of the book. This is indeed a story that stays with you long after you finish reading it.

I also took notice of the scene when Frankie gets her period.  To me it wasn't so much about her getting her period as it was significant that she put her soiled underpants in the sink that had her clothing with Will's blood.  In other words, she was dealing with her own blood as a living being at the same time she was dealing with the blood of an individual that was no longer there.  But I may be reading WAY too much into this.

Congratulations on recognizing a hit novel and the best of luck for the future.

 

Bonnie


 

 

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MSaff
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

  Welcome Amy,

 

  I wanted to say thank you for first of all, finding such a captivating author as Sarah Blake.  She knows how to grab a reader and keep them involved in her story.  My question for you is this.  What prompted you to get involved with Sarah and what do you look for in a novel?

 

  Thank You

 

 

Mike
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
http://travelswithcarsandbooks.blogspot.com/
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nfam
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

Amy,

 

Thank you for your response about what makes a best seller. I think you're right. It has to be a feeling. I asked the question, because I found the book very diffuse. I couldn't get involved with the characters. However, the war was very well done. I read your book, "The Help," and loved it. The characters came alive. It was wonderful. I have to admit, I didn't have the same feel about these women. 

 

I hope this book does as well as the other. Thank you for being here and answering our questions.

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tree_lover
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

Welcome Ms. Einhorn.  I loved the background story of you and the writer.  I wondered how the book came to be.  I love the cover and the texture of the pages of the book.  Thank you for publishing such a wonderful story.

 

liz

http://nygirltrustnoone.blogspot.com/
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Tarri
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

 

I am so glad you did.  This book is enthralling and I can't wait until to see the final edition on the bookshelves (or the stacks at my local Costco, since we don't actually have a bookstore in town). 

Amy-Einhorn wrote:

good questions!

To be honest, now that I'm not only a publisher but since the imprint is eponymous and my name is on every book, the decision to publish a book is a much bigger one for me.  In publishing your reputation is everything so I'm very conscious of making sure that if a book is on my list it has to be one I truly love.    I'm very fortunate to be in a position where I don't need to publish x number of titles a year so I don't have to publish inferior books just to fill a quota.

 

Re: working with Sarah and how I became aware of her work is a funny story.  Her agent sent me the manuscript I think it was almost 2 years ago this time exactly.  I knew by page 100 I was going to reject it -- the storyline was a mess -- but her writing was so wonderful that I read the entire thing -- which in my business is a bit unheard of as we have so much to read, why read something you're going to reject. But I did because I knew she was a great writer. But as I said earlier, the novel was a mess. Frankie didn't appear until page 150! So I rejected the novel with a note admitting that this was one of the odder rejection letters I'd ever written -- that I loved the book but it just needed too much work. 

 

And then a few weeks went by and I couldn't stop thinking about the book. And then I was listening to one of our sales representatives talk about a book and how it made them feel and I had this visceral reaction, thinking, "I just had that feeling of reading a great, special book. What was it? Oh yes, the book I rejected about a postmistress!"  So I just couldn't get it out of my head so I called back Sarah's agent and asked if I could talk to Sarah on the phone. We talked, were on the same page editorially and it was clear Sarah was willing to do the work so we both took the plunge and I'm so glad we did.  I put Sarah through some tough editorial revisions but the book is now better than I ever hoped it would be.


 

 

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Amy-Einhorn
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

Thanks Debbie for the kind words.--amy

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Stellaluna99
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

Welcome to the group Amy and thank you for that great story on how The Postmistress ultimately survived the chopping block.  I  read The Help when it first came out,  mainly for the storyline but also because I had not heard of the publisher (obviously, since it was the first).  That story stayed with me and the characters were so well defined that I made a mental note of your name, intending on keeping an eye out for further books published by your group. Needless to say, I was more than happy to see The Postmistress on our list, especially when I found out that you were the publisher.  To make a long story short (although I might be a bit late on that), with the combination of The Help, The Postmistress and your story behind its ultimate publication, you have a confirmed fan who will read everything you deem publishable!

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debbook
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

I really enjoyed this book and I hope you don't make many changes to the final copy. I really connected with the characters and I love stories that take place during WWII.

Many of my friends are jealous and can't wait for the release of this book, I've told them how great it is.

A room without books is like a body without a soul.~ Cicero...
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debbook
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

 


Amy-Einhorn wrote:

good questions!

To be honest, now that I'm not only a publisher but since the imprint is eponymous and my name is on every book, the decision to publish a book is a much bigger one for me.  In publishing your reputation is everything so I'm very conscious of making sure that if a book is on my list it has to be one I truly love.    I'm very fortunate to be in a position where I don't need to publish x number of titles a year so I don't have to publish inferior books just to fill a quota.

 

Re: working with Sarah and how I became aware of her work is a funny story.  Her agent sent me the manuscript I think it was almost 2 years ago this time exactly.  I knew by page 100 I was going to reject it -- the storyline was a mess -- but her writing was so wonderful that I read the entire thing -- which in my business is a bit unheard of as we have so much to read, why read something you're going to reject. But I did because I knew she was a great writer. But as I said earlier, the novel was a mess. Frankie didn't appear until page 150! So I rejected the novel with a note admitting that this was one of the odder rejection letters I'd ever written -- that I loved the book but it just needed too much work. 

 

And then a few weeks went by and I couldn't stop thinking about the book. And then I was listening to one of our sales representatives talk about a book and how it made them feel and I had this visceral reaction, thinking, "I just had that feeling of reading a great, special book. What was it? Oh yes, the book I rejected about a postmistress!"  So I just couldn't get it out of my head so I called back Sarah's agent and asked if I could talk to Sarah on the phone. We talked, were on the same page editorially and it was clear Sarah was willing to do the work so we both took the plunge and I'm so glad we did.  I put Sarah through some tough editorial revisions but the book is now better than I ever hoped it would be.


 

I'm glad you gave the book a second chance and that you put a lot into the editing. I've read many a book that has so much potential but has been poorly edited

 

A room without books is like a body without a soul.~ Cicero...
"bookmagic418.blogspot.com
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pen21
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

Amy,

I liked having your letter in the first page of the book.

It set the tone before I started reading the book.

Before starting to read a book I always read the front and back covers.

Then I read the blurb on the inside flaps of the jackets.

I then look at the final pages and see if there is something there the author wrote.

Then I turn to the first pages before the story starts to read those.

Your letter was a nice touch. Thank You

Pen21

 

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Amy-Einhorn
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

Stellaluna99: thanks very much for the kind words.  The prevailing wisdom in publishing is that most readers don't notice who the publisher is so this is quite gratifying to hear (and also once more evidence that "prevailing wisdom" in publishing is often an oxymoron :-) . )  I do have some other great books coming down the pike (that while i'd love to pitch here I think I need to limit my discussion to Sarah's wonderful work) so I'd love it if you looked out for them -- as I said before, since I started my own imprint, I've been very conscious about the fact that your reputation is everything so I've only taken on books I truly love and hopefully that will earn me some loyal readers like yourself. 

 

Thanks again for writing --Amy

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Amy-Einhorn
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

pen21:  thanks for sharing this -- it's always fascinating to hear what goes into someone's decision to buy/read a book.  I don't tend to put letters into all of my galleys (if you do that it tends to be a bit of the boy who cried wolf and they lose their effectiveness) -- but when you do it's nice to know people actually read them!--amy

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Amy-Einhorn
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

Deb: thanks for speaking up, really appreciate it -- I'm hoping there are some silent majority-ers out there who didn't have a problem with the beginning.  And thanks for spreading the word to your friends.  At the end of the day that's what makes a book successful, terrific word of mouth and that's something no amount of money can buy. --Amy

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nicole21WA
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

 


Amy-Einhorn wrote:

Deb: thanks for speaking up, really appreciate it -- I'm hoping there are some silent majority-ers out there who didn't have a problem with the beginning.  And thanks for spreading the word to your friends.  At the end of the day that's what makes a book successful, terrific word of mouth and that's something no amount of money can buy. --Amy


 

 

Alright, I'll speak up.  I loved the beginning.  Sure it took a little bit of time to connect with the characters because they were introduced quickly, but I really loved the way the transitions were done.

 

I suppose I really am an oddball because I also always notice the publisher even though Amy was commenting early that it's believed most people don't.  There are actually some publishers that I intentionally seek out because I've enjoyed so many of the previous titles.

 

Keep up the good work Amy!!

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Wilson54
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

Hi Amy,

Thank you for the book.

 

I too had little trouble getting in to the book.  I felt pulled along to find out more about the people I was meeting. 

I am glad to hear there will be corrections as the quotation marks being incorrect was distracting.  I have finished the book but do not want to be a spoiler so I'll have to ask my questions later in the discussion.

Again, thank you for the enjoyable read.

Carole
(wilson54)
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EiLvReedn
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Re: Questions for Publisher and Editor, Amy Einhorn?

Hi Amy,

I'm probably too late to catch you. I have enjoyed this book and had it with me while at a nursing conference. It peaked interest of some of my fellow conference goers as well. So maybe I made a few future sales, ha! Anyway I was wondering how the proofing of books is done these days. Seems like more and more there are typos in them. Sorry I found one on page 186 the last sentence shouldn't say HE cleared his throat not HIS cleared his throat?  Anyway, thanks for letting us critque this book.