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Countdown to Publication

 

Like Miriam, I am an inveterate NPR listener (read: geek), and nothing makes me happier when two of my favorite things come together—my clients and my radio habit.

Tomorrow my client Judy Melinek, co-author of the memoir WORKING STIFF: Two Years, Two Hundred and Sixty Two Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner, will be on NPR’s Science Friday. To kick it off, there’s a medical mystery to solve The Pink Eye of Death (is the cause of death natural or otherwise? You decide) up on the website.

Publication is always thrilling, particularly for first-time authors, and it’s especially exciting when good things are afoot. Reviews for the book have been glowing, there’s a TV option in place, interviews and features are in the works, and I’m counting the hours ‘til 2pm tomorrow. The book officially publishes on August 12th, but this is an excellent lead-in.

Scribner, the publisher, has been terrific.  Editors Shannon Welch and John Glynn worked on numerous drafts of the book—again, disproving the canard that editors “don’t edit.” The design team created an arresting cover, going so far as to correct their initial draft, which featured a blue gloved hand holding a scalpel as a surgeon might.  According to Judy, who is a forensic pathologist, both glove (too thin) and grasp (too delicate) were incorrect, and Scribner actually photographed Judy’s hand to get it right.

The book is also a labor of love; Judy wrote it with her husband TJ, a Hollywood screenwriter turned stay-at-home dad whose literary gifts nicely balance Judy’s scientific mind.  This was my first time representing a husband and wife writing team, and it seems that collaborating on a book, like never going to bed angry, makes for a happy marriage.  In any case, I’m thrilled for both of them.

As agents, we play many roles: we may be midwives, advisers, advocates, editors, but we are also, at heart, fans.  Undergirded as it is by genuine admiration, ours is a job that rarely grows old.  It is also significantly less hair-raising than forensic pathology.  Which–since I can live vicariously through my clients– is just fine by me.

4 Responses to Countdown to Publication

  1. Lynn says:

    Congratulations to Judy and T.J. and everyone involved! I also think it’s important to get the details right. Many people might not notice the difference, but a lot of other people would. When I’m browsing in a bookstore, it’s the cover, the title, or both that makes me pick up a book in the first place. Next comes reading the jacket and then reading the first page. If I turn that first page, there’s a good chance I’m walking out of the store with the book in hand. But! You have to pick up the book in the first place.

  2. Kevin Grange says:

    I downloaded this book on my Kindle and love what I’ve read so far. Congrats on the initial reception the book has received and Ill definitely recommend it!

  3. it was very interesting to me like that was written above.

  4. I downloaded this book on my Kindle and love what I’ve read so far. Congrats on the initial reception the book has received and Ill definitely recommend it!

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