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The latest update from Susan Wiggs

Family Tree goes on sale August 9th. View this email on the web.
THE LATEST UPDATE FROM SUSAN WIGGS
Enter for a chance to win a Family Tree Book Club Pancake Party Pack!
Family Tree, the upcoming novel by #1 New York Times-bestselling author Susan Wiggs, is a perfect read for book clubs. The powerful, emotionally complex story of love and loss, heartbreak and healing, sets the stage perfectly for discussion–not to mention the irresistible recipes to inspire a menu for your club’s meeting!

25 lucky book clubs will each win a Family Tree Book Club Party Pack, including 2 copies of Family Tree, maple syrup and pancake mix, and a personalized note from Susan Wiggs. Winning book clubs will also be invited to a video chat with Susan. Enter here for a chance to win.

Eagerly anticipating the release of Family Tree on August 9th? Color while you wait! Click here to download a Family Tree coloring book page.

Pre-order your copy of Family Tree at the links below.

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I am posting this as a public service. Part of my revision process involves printing out my manuscript in Microsoft Word.

I work in WordPerfect because it thinks the way I do. But there’s one feature of Word that’s really helpful when I do a marathon sit-down and read-through with my editing pen in hand. You can print the ms with your comments and edits in balloons in the margin…so you know what you were thinking as you worked.

But the "new" Word, which comes as a subscription for 10 bucks a month, doesn’t want you to do this. After monkey around for way too long, googling "print showing markup" and all possible variations, I requested a call from Microsoft help. The phone rang immediately (boggle)…and the helper monkeyed for another 40 minutes (remotely) with no success. She promised I’d get a call from a higher power in 4 hours. That’s a long time to wait for a higher power.

So I monkeyed some more, and lo and behold:

There you go. You have to go to the opening screen of Word, then click OPTIONS, and then click DISPLAY. Look under "printing options" and check the box that says "Print hidden text."

Then CTRL-P, and there are your comments.

Simple, huh?

You’re welcome.

The You I Never Knew was written, sold to a publisher, and edited…and then it was orphaned. In publishing, this means the editor who acquired it moved on while the book was in production. This is usually not the best news for a book,  because that acquiring editor loved the book and was its in-house cheerleader. The project was handed off to a new editor. This is a bit like getting a foster child you didn’t ask for.

In my case, it turned out to be a mixed blessing. They were right in the middle of designing the cover, and it looked like this:

cover never used on the you i never knew

the art i never used on the you i never knew

literary collection of stories

Now, this is a fine piece of original art. The design and layout are Image result for the horse whisperer nicholas evansreminiscent of both The Horse Whisperer and a Nicholas Sparks cover, so those are pluses. It also looks a bit like Annie Proulx’s Close Range.

Does this mean the cover is right for this book? Probably not. First of all, The You I Never Knew would be a paperback original, not a hardcover book, so the art needs to “pop” on the shelf in order to stand out. The colors of this cover are muted and the mood is chilly. It might work on a hardcover jacket, but it doesn’t look instantly warm and inviting, like a “feel-good” novel.

The new editor came into the middle of cover design, knowing nothing about me or the book. There was a bright spot, though. The new editor was the extremely smart Maggie Crawford, and she was the kind of foster mother the book needed–an experienced editor who understood the market for this book. She’d worked with many bestselling authors and had a fine eye for marketing women’s fiction. She took on the cover art issue with aplomb, and came up with this.

The You I Never KnewIt’s one of the least-relevant yet most commercial covers I’ve ever had. Here’s my analysis: Splashing my name on the cover in huge letters gave the illusion that this was a big book by a big author. The lettering itself–big, graceful block lettering–was reminiscent of the font used for blockbuster author Sandra Brown. 22 Indigo PlaceAnd of course, it capitalizes on the galloping popularity of the biggest novel of the ’90s, The Horse Whisperer. Cover Image

So I’m back on track, right? My new editor rescued the novel from obscurity and now all I’d need to do is kick back and let the sales roll in. Oh, and I’d be working with Maggie on the next book, brainstorming the plot and building on the success of The You I Never Knew. Right? Right?

NOT.

The lovely and talented foster-editor for this book was so lovely and talented that another publisher hired her away. By the time my novel was published for the first time, there was no one home. My calls were fielded by hapless assistant. With no in-house cheerleader, no marketing budget, and no PR, my book was destined to die of slow strangulation in that publishing twilight zone known as “the midlist.” If sales were poor, the publisher wouldn’t want anymore books from me, and my days as an author were numbered.

BUT.

I had a secret weapon, and that secret weapon was YOU. The You I Never Knew, aka READERS.

One of the great things about publishing is that readers don’t care what a book’s marketing budget is. They don’t care how it’s positioned on a publisher’s list or catalog. They care about the story. Not only that, when they like the story, they tell their friends. And their librarians. And their hairdresser. And the next thing you know, the book is a bestseller.

Against all odds, the first edition of The You I Never Knew made the USA Today bestseller list. Thanks to readers, the book is still in print, in a fresh new edition this week.

The You I never Knew 2016

The latest edition – in stores now!

The You I never knew-SP

the 2010 edition

 

 

 

 

Join me on Facebook. You won’t be sorry.

I tend to spontaneously give stuff away to readers and libraries. Join the fun here. Really.

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