Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Buy this book...Please!

There’s nothing more troubling to an author than being orphaned. No, this isn’t about anyone’s parents dying. It’s about editors leaving houses. Your editor is your champion. He or she had the vision to buy your book, argued for it in the editorial meeting, worked with you on editing it, helped develop the cover, and overall made the book happen.

Now, imagine this: Not only does your editor leave, but his boss, the publisher, also. Everyone associated with the decision to buy your book has left the house. What now? Who will champion the book? Talk it up to the sales force? Argue for more of a publicity effort? The reality is that far too many editors spend their day managing authors’ expectations downward that I often fear they start to become true pessimists. And in an employment environment where editors can lose their jobs with great ease, few editors want to stand up to their bosses and argue passionately on behalf of a book. Publishing is full of idealists—we all love books and thought coming into this business was about finding the next great American novel—but one quickly learns that this business is as much about going along to get along as it is about finding good books.

That said, I’ve got a book out now that needs your support: The Dead of Winter: How Battlefield Investigators, WWII Veterans, and Forensic Scientists Solved the Mystery of the Bulge's Lost Soldiers, by Bill Warnock. This is a powerful book and one that has real relevance in today’s world, when our troops are fighting overseas and thousands of family members sit at home, wondering about their safety.

World War II ended decades ago, but thousands of soldiers who fought overseas never came home...and still lay on the field where they fell, their bodies never recovered. Now, forty-six years after the Battle of the Bulge, a group of Belgian and American volunteers joined forces to hunt for those lost servicemen and to recover their remains. The ensuing search reads like a CSI episode, while the stories of the soldiers themselves read like chapters from Band of Brothers.

This book needs your help. This is a powerful and emotional story, and one that deserved very much to be told. But this book is as big an orphan as any: the editor is gone and the publisher is gone. If it doesn’t sell, the house can blame those who are gone. So let’s prove them wrong. Please click here and buy a copy today.

Thanks.

Z

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