There has to be an alternative to doing time on the slush pile on the rocky road to becoming a published author.
I’ve already likened my passion for writing to the urge to reproduce. I could say the same of my relentless pursuit of a publishing deal. I am guilty of every crime in the self-promotion book. Schmoozing. Pitching at a minute’s notice. Imposing on the goodwill of strangers. It’s a litany of misdemeanours.
The charge sheet looks a little like this:
- Buttonholing guest speakers at seminars when they least expect it.
- Handing out my card to anyone who looks sideways at me – and some who don’t.
- Attending publishing conferences that meet my criteria – inexpensive.
- Stalking bookshops to see if there are any accessible yet practical guides to separation and divorce in Australia – there are not.
- Taking advantage of every tenuous connection to practise my one sentence pitch and maybe even my paragraph pitch if someone hasn’t already called security.
- Asking for an email address to send the full proposal.
- Regarding every rejection as just another step to publication.
- Learning from my rejections what the publisher is seeking that I haven’t provided.
In my defence, your honour:
I have had two major publishers look at my proposal.
The first was willing to go ahead if I extended my audience to separated and divorced men. I politely declined after much soul-searching. That is not the book I’m writing – this time. My book is full of anecdotes (some funny, some not) from my own messy yet ultimately happy-ever-after experience. The DIY Men’s guide will be the second in the series, followed by the DIY guide for first home leavers. I dream big. You may like to add that to the charge sheet.
The second publisher was happy with everything except the market share. Australian couples (married and de facto) separate at a rate of 100,000 per year. The 2016 census hasn’t yet released the statistics for same sex couples, but you can bet the number of same sex partnerships that end each year is significant. The publishers I approached don’t consider these numbers healthy enough for the relatively small Australian book-buying market. One of them writes:
It might be tricky to find a strong enough commercial audience without a strong platform or existing following for you.
This is where you come in, dear reader. If any of my ramblings are of interest to you – be you single or partnered, male, female or genderfluid – please consider supporting my endeavours by becoming a subscriber and/or following my fledgling attempts to blitz the social media airwaves via Facebook and Instagram.