I eagerly mailed out almost a hundred query letters to publishing houses, agents, publicists etc. I went to the libraries and bookstores searching for addresses. I did my homework and wrote to all the right people in all the right places. All I wanted was a little help bringing "Why I Committed Suicide" to life. No pun intended.I thought that with my bitchin' proposal and my bitchin' 3rd rough draft in hand I could probably catch the attention of some kindred artistic spirit trapped in their own personal publishing hell. If I inspired them in their downward corporate spiral, they might mentor me, they might take me under their wing and edit my book into something magical. Championed by an editor on the 'inside', my vision would become a book. And right there on the first page I would "...dedicate this book to my crackerjack editor, _____ _____, who with patience, guidance and amazing insight made this book possible. You are the most kind and thoughtful person I have ever worked with."
So I waited and waited and called and e-mailed and worked and waited and prayed and waited and finally a few responses started to trickle in... ... ...
Now, slightly older and more jaded, I fully understand the overwhelming volume of content and pressure a million dreamers like me inject into the publishing industry every day. It's pretty hard to get someone to even read your book these days, unless you can summarize your vision in 25 words and show that another publishing company already did something similar, they will not take the risk. (See this article
) They can not
even get the risk authorized. I'll rephrase that. People who work in the publishing industry are too (read this
) to read books by people that have not been published before. I understand, that's life. We all grow through our rejections and I thought it would be neat to post some them on my website
. That way if you are an aspiring writer perhaps you can live vicariously and save yourself the trouble of mailing your hopes and dreams in a plain manila envelope to a complete stranger looking for another "Chicken Soup for 'duh' Soul
" book. Just print out my letter and pretend it is your own. That way you can save yourself the postage! It's eco friendly-tastic! Sarcasm aside, the letters I am posting are just the few people and companies that bothered to use the self-addressed-stamped-envelope I included with my letters. There are many, many more that probably just tossed my letter in the company recycle bin. This person is doing it one publisher at a time, I like that confidence! (click)
So is self publishing the answer? Can it help your career? WIll you ever be happy?
But self publishing isn't easier. You still have to write your damn book and because it's an independent novel you sure as hell better polish that turd and make it better than any turd already out there collecting dust in the turdmall. Which means believing in what you're doing as a writer and shoving aside the nagging self doubt and putting in the long hours and lonely nights and writing endless drafts and pestering friends to be editors and trying to do all the painful legwork. And you have to do it. At least that's what the wrinkly old man told me in his china shop of mystery. If you are really lucky like me you might gain a supportive network of intelligent people from all walks of life who enjoy reading your wild nonfiction adventures and even put up with your silly erratic posting.
Labels: authors, Chicken Soup for duh Soul, crackerjack editor, independent novel, mt hood, rejection letter, samuelpablo, self publishing, struggling, suicide, turdmall, why i committed suicide