For authors of literary fiction, creative control isn’t just a plus. Increasingly it’s becoming a must.
Novelist Jane Davis:
My first novel earned me the services of an agent, but not a book deal. My agent hadn’t had time to read my second novel when I entered it in a national competition for unpublished authors. I only admitted what I’d done when my entry was shortlisted at which point my agent said, ‘I think I’d better read it then.’ She absolutely hated it. On her advice, assuming I could never win, I totally re-wrote one of the main characters.
When I was told that I won the Daily Mail First Novel Award, the publisher insisted on my original version (the judges had loved the character my agent so objected to), but here are examples of the changes that were imposed on me:
- Re-structure so that big reveal came in the penultimate chapter/new end chapter.
- Title change.
- Great cover, but totally inappropriate for the book.
In other words, when I held the book in my hands, it never felt as if it was mine. It was as if I was selling someone else’s book!
Read the rest here.