To Market, To Market
    
Sally Fradkin

After sixteen rejections, our inspirational romance, A Time to Love, sold to PublishAmerica. My daughter and I were instantly transported to Cloud Seven. It was a welcome change after spending two years writing the novel. We had polished it until it sparkledóor so we thought. Unfortunately, the publishers to whom we sent it didnít agree.

After the first rejection comments, Sandra and I took a second look at the novel and had to admit they were right. Coming from the same cultural background we did, our hero, Aaron, had a strong well defined character. On the other hand our heroine, Tracy, had the romantic appeal of a gerbil.

Our remake of Tracy began with giving her a history. She had a big brother who taught her how to play baseball. When their parents died unexpectedly, she shared her grief with him. After much rewriting, Tracy finally emerged as a character who could bridge the cultural gap between her own and Aaronís background.

When we sent the manuscript out, it again came back rejected. This time, Sandra and I had faith in it. Eventually, we found a publisher whose requirements matched our novel.

The experience taught us two things. First, an authorís love for her creation doesnít sell a novel. We had to edit and re-edit. Secondly, we couldnít give up when rejection slips came in.

With a signed contract, Sandra and I sat back and waited, but not for long. In two weeks, a six page authorís questionnaire arrived from PublishAmerica. Our manuscript needed to be single spaced with no blank lines between the paragraphs. Sandra could format it easily, but she was off on vacation in Mexico. I grew up when a program was something you listened to on the radio. I struggled with my word processing program until the manuscript was formatted and proof read. Shortly before its deadline, it went off to PublishAmerica.

That done, I stepped into the copyright world. Not only did our novel require a copyright, it also needed permission to use the scripture verses we quoted. Each version of the Bible carries its own copyright. E-mails went back and forth until we learned that the version we used, the American Standard, was in Public Domain. We were free to use it.

Some months later, PublishAmerica sent us the bookís final proofs. They also gave us seven pages of marketing suggestions. In our contract, we promised to promote the novel locally.

Weíll probably do book signings and speaking engagements in the future. With her acting experience, this shouldnít be a problem for Sandra. However, Iíve never spoken in public. To keep from panicking, Iíll try to remember the words of poet, Theodore Roethke, who said ďWhat we need are more people who specialize in the impossible.Ē Thatís not me, but itís the Lordís specialty. With His help, Iíll open my mouth and promote our book After all, A Time to Love is an inspirational romance.

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About the Writer:

A Time to Love was written by the mother/daughter team of Sally Fradkin and Sandra Weston. With Sandra in California and Sally in Florida, they edited each chapter by passing it back and forth on the Internet. They've been published in Of Unicorns and Space Stations, Vintage Northwest, Horizons and The Pepper Tree.