Tomorrow is Today

December 6, 2006 at 9:08 pm 25 comments

 

As news of our little publishing company spreads, it’s becoming common for people to stop me anywhere and pitch their book.  In the last week I’ve had a manuscript, (stuffed into a heavily taped manila envelope), left between the screen and my front door, a sheaf of binder clipped papers left on the chair at my office and just yesterday, a sweet little lady handed me her cut and paste masterpiece while I was visiting the library.  Today’s author was different.  His book is professionally boxed and labeled.  Typed and formatted for ease of editing.  When he talks, I can hear the guitar of Jimi Hendrix in the background.

He wears the horror of the Viet Nam war still, this author.  Mossy green eyes rimmed in gold that never quite meet mine. There’s a certain slump of shoulder, a sense of frantic movement even when he’s standing perfectly still, that marks this author as a veteran.  I was only in junior high when we pulled out of Viet Nam, almost my entire childhood shadowed by this controversial war and the emerging rebellion of a changing America. I’ve seen most of the movies:  The Deer Slayer, Full Metal Jacket, Good Morning Viet Nam…. But I’ve never seen a chronology of events, from one soldier’s perspective, battle by battle, jungle to rice paddy.  It wasn’t me personally that protested the war, or spit on the soldiers returning home… but as an American, I feel shame for those that did.  Like Scarlet, I’ve put off to tomorrow really studying this period in history because it’s such an embarrassing milestone in our countries timeline. 

I want this book to be good.  I want it to read as well as its presented. 

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Monday, Monday…. Look Into My Eyes….

25 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sunfloweroptimism  |  December 6, 2006 at 9:27 pm

    Do you think you will be publishing this one, Kat? If so, put me down for one, please.

    Reply
  • 2. katcampbell  |  December 6, 2006 at 9:40 pm

    Sunflower – It will depend on whether its good or not, I hope it is.

    Reply
  • 3. LauraJ  |  December 7, 2006 at 12:06 am

    How do you know it’s good? Or who judges if it’s good or not?

    Reply
  • 4. katcampbell  |  December 7, 2006 at 12:11 am

    We have “readers” Laura. One of them will read it, then send back to us a synopsis and review. If the first reader likes it, we send it to a second. If theres a split opinion, it goes to a third. Anywhere in that process I will probably read it myself.

    Reply
  • 5. DaveM  |  December 7, 2006 at 1:02 am

    I’m pleased Laura asked that question as I was wondering how you did it. So once you have a concensus thats its a good book do you then take the decision to publish it. The potential sales must be hard to guage so that you at least break even. If you dont decide to publish I guess the author takes it to another publishing house. Are your “test readers” required to give the feedback in a certain form or is it based on “I really enjoyed it, couldn’t put it down, load of rubbish” sort of feedback. Sorry if I’m being nosey.

    Reply
  • 6. katcampbell  |  December 7, 2006 at 1:13 am

    Dave – No, I don’t mind the questions at all. Our readers are asked to provide a short synopsis (this book was about…) and a review pointing out some good points and some bad points (plot flow, characterization, sentence structure, grammar, punctuation) summing up with whether they liked the story or not (“I really enjoyed it, couldn’t put it down”) and a rating from 1-10 with 10 being highest. When two readers both like a book, either me or my partner will read it and that’s the first time we give any thought at all to marketability. There is a market for every topic, we are better at tapping into some than others.

    Reply
  • 7. NMOTB  |  December 7, 2006 at 1:52 am

    Sounds like it is going to be a bestseller! The Vietnam history and events fascinate me – was such a sad time!!!! You hve an interesting job!!! I am sorry to hear that you battled to get into my blog, hope the problem is solved now!

    Take Care

    Reply
  • 8. The Rev. Dr. Kate  |  December 7, 2006 at 3:38 am

    I hope it is published. It sounds as though he has an important story to tell.

    Reply
  • 9. Mr. Fabulous  |  December 7, 2006 at 3:56 am

    It sounds promising…

    Reply
  • 10. John Linna  |  December 7, 2006 at 5:18 am

    That’s a book I’d like to read. I hope it is well done and that you like it.

    Reply
  • 11. Shelli  |  December 7, 2006 at 6:56 am

    It sounds good. My dad was entranced by anything about the Viet Nam war. He was enlisted during that time, but unlike many of his peers, he was never sent to Nam. He read anything he could get his hands on about it, though.

    Reply
  • 12. katcampbell  |  December 7, 2006 at 8:10 am

    NMOTB – Whatever was wrong is fixed!

    Dr. Kate – I’m hoping its good too, maybe seeing it in print will evict the ghosts. Writing it hasn’t seemed to help.

    Mr. Fab – Always hoping for a miracle. If he writes as well as he talks…

    Thanks Dr. John.

    Shelli – Wow, your Dad was lucky.

    Reply
  • 13. Hammer  |  December 7, 2006 at 8:33 am

    My dad finally finished with his Vietnam book.
    I’ve helped him with it over the last year or so.
    I think it’s pretty good but I’m probably biased.
    He’s got some pretty good stories and is being considered fot the congressional medal oof Honor.

    It took him 38 years to be able to put pen to paper without sinking into a deep depression.

    Reply
  • 14. katcampbell  |  December 7, 2006 at 9:08 am

    Hammer – I think the amount of distance each of these veterans has needed to get their story out tells volumes about the horror this war. In many ways, it ruined their lives. Congratulations to your Dad for the medal of honor!

    Reply
  • 15. Nessa  |  December 7, 2006 at 4:43 pm

    It sounds like an interesting book. I hope it’s good. Can i be a professional reader? I’m highly qualified. I can read.

    Reply
  • 16. katcampbell  |  December 7, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    You sure can be a reader Nessa, the only requirement is a love of books. If you’re serious, e-mail me, and I’ll send you details.

    Reply
  • 17. Vanessa  |  December 7, 2006 at 10:59 pm

    I’m whimpering right now becasue I can’t for the life of me find your email address. I’m sure it’s just a blonde moment, but can you help me out without laughing at me?

    Reply
  • 18. katcampbell  |  December 7, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    Nah… I won’t laugh at you much! (It’s in my profile) but here it is so you can get started:
    http://ticopublishing.kathy@earthlink.net Yahoo, a new reader!

    Reply
  • 19. mrsjosegoldbloom  |  December 8, 2006 at 3:37 am

    I have the highest respect for Vets…and especially those of the Vietnam era because of the way the people in their own country treated them. I hope this man’s book is a good one, and I too would be interested in it if you decide to publish it.

    Reply
  • 20. Catch  |  December 8, 2006 at 3:43 am

    I hope its good too Kat….I was married to a veteran of the Viet Nam war….none of it was easy.

    Reply
  • 21. Nessa  |  December 8, 2006 at 5:58 am

    I am whining now.

    I can’t find your profile. I clicked on the link and get Earthlink’s website.

    I must be more tired than I realized.

    Can you email me?

    goldennib@comcast.net

    Reply
  • 22. katcampbell  |  December 8, 2006 at 7:19 am

    Mrs. Jose & Catch- I suspect it will be, his poetry is mind blowing.

    Nessa – I can’t find my profile either! Jeez. I e-mailed you and it didn’t bounce back so maybe we have figure this out!

    Reply
  • 23. Gela Words  |  December 10, 2006 at 1:05 am

    Oh, so that’s how it’s done? Has there ever been a case where the readers don’t really like the book but you have a good feeling about it? Would you publish in a case like that?

    Reply
  • 24. katcampbell  |  December 10, 2006 at 5:26 am

    If two readers give a book the thumbs down, it’s highly unlikely my partner or I will even look at it in order to get a feeling about it. However, we know our readers, there are certain ways they say things that clue us in that maybe its more about distaste for a genre than the actual story, so we would read it.

    Reply
  • 25. Hayden  |  December 10, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    If you’re interested in an excellent glimpse of one small piece of the story of Vietnam, a friend of mine published a book, Highest Traditions, that offers some incredible insights. You can find it at http://home.earthlink.net/~tlazzarini/id20.html

    Tony does a lot of speaking engagements about his experiences there, and realized that no one had a clue what a tail gunner was – which is the job he had in Viet Nam. So he also produced a 12 minute video to go with the book that was put together from snips of his own and his friends personal video and photos.

    If you order through his website, tell him Lynetta sent you.

    Reply

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