Thursday, March 15, 2012


Oh, people, people, people! Allow me please to lament. I received a few more rejections on the "this-is-going-to-be-so-easy-to-sell" non-fiction book. It seems that editors love the book proposal and enthusiastically embrace me in phone conversations, and send me presents, etc., but then their bosses say no ("Naaah," is how I imagine it. Or "Nope.") Secret Agent Man and I think this is a really big book, but perhaps my proposal doesn't adequately convey it fully. I'm going to take another swing at clarifying the proposal, and then I'm going to write the first chapter of the book that will indicate the mix of memoir and quirky history. And if that doesn't work, I am going to shut the front door, publishing industry and all, not that any of those suckers will care. (Probably not really, but that's what I'm saying for now. So, humor me if you will.)


Anonymous said...

I feel you but you know it's a numbers game. While it might be a really deep, complex topic, the money guys aren't going to risk it if they think they might lose.
Then again, it's that cheesy cliche about only taking one. It takes one eagle eyed editor. You know that Random House paid 30,000 for Reading Lolita in Tehran, and that it made 10 million dollars. It was just one of those "meh" mid-list books that had been rejected at a bunch of places and became a hit through word of mouth. So don't give up.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous of Comment #1 is right. Hang in there.

Personally, I have given myself until the end of this year, after several frustrating years of near misses and high praise from agents and editors. I am going to self-publish. I can't take it any more.

Cari Hislop said...

If I were you I'd write it. It sounds like a funny interesting book (and this from someone who doesn't expect to inherit even a few broken pieces of crockery). The guns (Glocks) that shared my childhood home have long been sold off to buy coffee and cigarettes so at least I won't have to research gun prices or be stopped by the police to explain my unlicensed handgun. There's always a blessing somewhere in the smelly writing book and making money out of your insane childhood. Go for it!

Anonymous said...

With a non-fiction book, the snag might not be your proposal at all. It might be your "platform," or lack thereof. Most big publishers want the author to already have a built-in audience -- they want you to have a popular blog, or a TV show, or a lecture circuit act, etc. Writers who just write have a very hard time getting book deals these days.

I had a book published at a Random House imprint a couple of years ago, and I had to spend WAY more time working on my platform than it took to write the book itself. Blech.