In this insightful book, Ronald C. Gordon details his long and sometimes absurd struggles as a first-time author who conquered the path to publication with his novel, Not Fade Away. His work serves as a lesson to other debut novelists eager to get published.
In Don’t Tell Me Your Wife Likes It, Gordon leads readers through the challenges of finding a publisher and also discusses the literary works of other authors. Perhaps most beneficial is the author’s account of the complexity of preparing a book for publication.
Readers witness the difficulties Gordon encountered, for example, when his novel’s first draft topped out at over 800 pages. Much time and money was then spent on the necessary editing to make the novel fit within the parameters of the marketplace. While readers may tire of the author’s discourse about the many editing details, the frank look at the revision process is an important lesson for new authors, as are the questions that arise from it: When should the editor’s opinions override the author’s voice? When is an agent’s opinion more important than the author’s goal?
Recognizing that publishing is marketing, Gordon works hard to come to terms with the literary marketplace and his place within it. And after all his efforts, the author notes that publication is only the beginning. “Publication means nothing, nada, less than zero, if people don’t know about the book. … The only way to enhance the likelihood of a successful promotional effort is to spend a lot of money, as in like a commercial publisher, using both print and online media.”
Writers working on a novel, seeking an agent, or who are ready to try independent publishing will find important messages in Gordon’s struggles and would do well in letting his experiences guide their own.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.