I’ve had a long (read that: really, really long) dry spell, freelance-wise.  So I jigged a little happy dance when my old editor hit me with a new project. 


My editor works for a book packaging company.  Doesn’t ring any bells?  I’ll explain.  Publishing companies often have their own ideas about what they’d like to publish, and unfortunately their vision has nothing to do with the thousands of queries and manuscripts they receive over the transom from hopeful writers like… well, like me.  The book I wrote my own little self is currently languishing in the slush piles of multiple publishers, who clearly wouldn’t know a great book if it jumped up a did a jig of its own, pages flapping in wild abandon.  But I digress.


So, the publishing company calls the book packaging company and says “Yo, Book Packager, I want (describes book series of dreams).  Make it so.”


Book Packager then rounds up her favorite freelancers, gives them their marching orders, and before you know it, Publishing Company has exactly what it asked for, without ever touching the pile of manuscripts and queries on its desk, or considering how its negligence is dashing the hopes and shaking the confidence of some extremely talented, low-maintenance, deserving aspiring authors.  


Damn, digressed again.


In this project, I’ve been given an already published book, about 150 pages long, written for moderately competent high school students.  It is my task to transform it into a 32 page book written at a much lower reading level.  It’s harder than it looks.  Don’t try this at home.


I won’t get full author credit since, after all, it is somebody else’s book.  But the cover will read:


Original Title

By Original Author, with Transvestite Rabbit


Good enough.  Not as good as getting a call from Publishing Company offering a big advance for my book, but hey, it’s a gig.




14 thoughts on “NEW GIG

  1. Book packaging has become a much larger part of the industry than most people, even than most authors, realize.  Congrats.  It’s a paying job.  And it’s a book credit.   

  2. Congratulations.  I’ve actually thought several times whilst reading my children’s book versions of Disney movies that there’s an art to condensing these two hour movies into 800 words or less.  Not as easy as it sounds.  Actually, it doesn’t sound easy to me at all.

  3. wow. so how does the original author feel about the publisher doing that to their book? do they get any additional revenue from such a deal? very interesting. and sad for all those manuscripts on the desk collecting dust.     

  4. I, too, wonder how the original author feels about having his book dumbed down.  If the situation were reversed, you’d be having a holy fit!  Maybe you should use a nom de plume so he can’t find you!

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