Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Crash Test Dummy

This is not me, for clarification purposes.  I would never wear a t-shirt of a crash test dummy giving a crotch shot.  Wait.  Yes, yes, I would!

Yesterday I spoke to the publisher who called me when Craig was in the ICU.  I needed more answers about the publishing world.  And I wanted to know that someone who didn't know me, or the blog and published real books, really liked it.  Which, I knew she must have because she called me to tell me she loved it, but couldn't publish it.  No one calls solely to reject you.  That's all done via tweet, facebook, a text, no response at all or if you're extremely lucky, a you're-awesome-but-we're-still-rejecting-you-e-mail.  I must be one extremely lucky girl, because I've gotten a lot of those.

Kira, the publisher, is a fascinating woman.  Born in Israel, her daughter had a horrible accident falling out of a second story window when she was only 4 years old.  So, we spent a good amount of time discussing near tragedy together.  Her daughter is now a precocious 28 year old living here in the US, as does she.  That's why she wanted to read my book in the first place, when she publishes books outside my genre, political ones.  She was curious how an American woman would interpret being so far from home, so relatively close to Kira's homeland.

"The average American isn't interested in other countries.  They wouldn't know some of them existed if  it weren't for wars," she said.  She "loved" my book and thought it was "interesting" and "engaging", and found herself reminiscing about Israel.  But, she thinks even those who aren't well travelled will connect to Rock the Kasbah, the book.  The problem is, she doesn't think she can do the marketing of the book justice in today's marketplace.  Especially since she doesn't work with memoirs like mine.  She figures I have enough of a potential market on my own to do what she could do or better, without her taking a cut.  She'd even help me do it.

"The nature of publishing has changed with the internet," she said.  "People don't buy books like they used to."  And no one can predict what will take off and make it big.  Which may explain the Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight phenomena, where many say the writing is uninspired and formulaic.  (I've not read either one to verify, but I've heard enough friends talk about these two books to take it on faith.)  So publishers have become extremely cautious.  

And then it occurred to me, I was part of my own demise, a crash test dummy.  Blogs and free writing on the internet combined with self publishing are the downfall of traditional publishing.  I'd shot myself in the foot.  Unless, I'd shot myself in the face.  Either way, it was done now.  All there is to do now is to move forward. To self publishing.  After I submitted my manuscript to a selective self-publishing company, I got the fastest letter of acceptance ever.  Which makes me wonder how selective they are.  Or just confirms my cynicism and shattered confidence at this point.

Since I'm researching and waiting for a couple of things before I start the process, I have time to work in really, really dumb one-take self-made videos that capture my feelings in song.

If you choose to watch this,  I'm sorry in advance...

Of course, my battery is dead!


Joy Page Manuel said...

Love the song, love the sword, but most of all, I love how you got into your car. I can TOTALLY imagine you doing that every single time! As for the publishing business, well, as tempting as it might be to say that "Whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger" crap, I won't. I know better. However, whatever doesn't kill you make for really great writing material, whether it's a blog or a self-published book! Chin up! You know you're awesome! said...

I'm not so sure you could not find a publisher- but it would be a search for someone who specializes in what you offered.
Self-publishing is an option- but then there is the incessant marketing, which means you have to research what outlets will work for your book.
I think you see the parallels...

Muriel Jacques said...

Marie, it is all about finding out what works for you. I think that it is positive that Kira took the time to give you such a detailed feedback. Personally, I think that you will be able to find a publisher if you want to. Keep us posted.


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