Let the parleying proceed!

Jan 31, 2020 | 4 comments

Methodist Church 1872-1921

The good news is that the conversations with my publisher are proceeding apace and we are getting closer to a workable understanding regarding terms and title.  And, for now anyway, there is no bad news — at least not with regard to my up-coming book.

But, birthing a book seldom goes perfectly smoothly.  That, of course, is one of the big advantages of self-publishing.  On the other hand, it is really helpful to have other eyes looking at your work before it is set in stone. (“Set in type” doesn’t work these days either, but “before your work is digitized” sounds kind it’s being chewed up and digested.  Which in a way, I guess it is.)

My experience with the editors at History Press has been mixed but has always turned out well in the end.  I have to remind myself that, mostly, they are two or, more likely, three generations younger than I and their understanding of some of my nuances may differ from my intent.  And, I also remind myself that they probably are more representative of my potential readers than I, so I try to lighten up.

S.A. Matthews

I seldom back down, however, when it comes to local peculiarities.  I remember a big argument (actually with an editor from WSU Press) about my use of “North County” when speaking of Raymond and South Bend.  He carefully corrected all those references to “East County” which, of course, was true if you looked at a map…  “Back when Oysterville was the Pacific County Seat,” I told him, “this was the point from which county directions were figured. The rest of the Peninsula and  the Columbia were south, and the Willapa Valley, Tokeland, and Raymond were north.”  More or less.

Another one that the editor and I went around about were holly trees. “Holly grows on bushes,” he said.  “That may be,” I said, “but not our holly.”  And I dashed out into the lane, took a picture, and sent it to him.  Discussion closed.

Well… as yet no contract for this book has been negotiated.  And discussions with editors are still moot.  But… I am ever hopeful.


  1. Ralph D. Jeffords

    Dear Cuzzin Sydney, you left out the editor who didn’t think it was “Albert’s Fire Engine” in your book Dear Medora. I showed that it really was a “Self-propelling Fire Engine.”

    • sydney

      Ralph — There were many I left out; it wasn’t meant to be definitive — just examples that happened to come to mind. There are actually dozens!

  2. Ralph D. Jeffords

    OOOPPPSSS! I replied to wrong post—should have been one day before. My bad (I think that is the first time I’ve ever used that expression, but it suddenly came to mind because its in vogue—how’s that for mixing very old and new idioms!) I’ll rereply with corrections to the correct post!

    • sydney

      Okay. I’ll look for it.


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