Saturday, August 1, 2009

65 days to Self-Publication...Let the Countdown Begin

Okay, so I gave it a try. Gave it my all…well some of my all. Okay, a lot of my all but not all of my all. My attempts to get a literary agent were unsuccessful. As those who have followed my brief journey (at least from the point that I started blogging about it) know, I sent out five very directed queries to literary agents who specifically represent works like mine and got two requests for fulls. Both agents said they liked it, which was a far cry from “Go away, you bother me.” The rejection which gave me the most hope that my book is on the right track and worthy of publishing is the following.

“I so enjoyed reading your work–this is clever, smart, snappy, funny, fun. I passed this around the office, and though everyone could see why I liked it–and we all agree that your writing is very good–I’m afraid that there just wasn’t enough collective enthusiasm for me to be able to say yes…Do let me know what happens–there is somethingspecial about your work, and I certainly hope that means you will be in bookstores soon.”

Both cited the “tight market.” An acquisitions editor with a major publisher still has it but hasn’t read it yet. Although she assures me she’ll be getting to it soon, her plate is overfilled with her client’s projects. So, what’s my next step?

Well, I’m going the self-publishing route. I’ve weighed all the pros and cons. I’ve read article after article about how little hope there is for the vast majority of self-publishers to sell more than 12 books or get picked up by a major publisher. I know the market is flooded with hundreds of thousands of novels and the likelihood of mine becoming a best seller has the same probability of a second virgin birth. I know how much work it’s going to be to market (as you will see from my blogs). I know how much it’s going to cost, even with cheap POD publishers, putting out a quality product isn’t cheap AT ALL. I know, I know, I know…and I’m going to do it anyway.

So, as of today, the new focus of my blog is publishing my book through the self-publishing route. I’ve set the release date for my book as October 6th. That means, as of today, I have 65 days to publication. Each day, I’ll blog about what I”m doing to get ready for the big day.
I’m going to start with my current status and we’ll move forward from here.

As of today, my manuscript is completed and an editorial consultant that I hired is reviewing it to give me feedback. She a former editor from Simon and Schuster. For those who aren’t familiar with publishing houses, Simon and Schuster publishes authors like Zane, Omar Tyree, Jennifer Weiner, and others. So, it’s a great publishing house and I feel like I’ll get the best feedback I can get. The editor has told me she will get the manuscript back to me sometime within the next two weeks, could be sooner, could be later. I dunno. But I have to be patient and wait. This is an important step to ensure I’m putting out the best quality product that I can.

While I’m waiting, I’m putting together a marketing plan, putting together a press kit, updating my website, designing postcards and bookmarks, and looking into doing a bookbag giveaway. I’m getting ready to set up facebook and blog pages for the book, and a host of other things that I will blog about as the time comes. So, I hope you’ll stay tuned.

I’m looking for a great slogan for imprinting on bookbags or buttons. I’ll give a free, autographed pre-publication copy of the actual book (in it’s retail format) and a free bookbag (a cinch backpack) with your slogan on it to anyone who can come up with a good one for me to use! Should be less than ten words, funny, and contain the words “bum” or “bum magnet.” The slogan will only be used on promotional materials that will be given out for free. Winning slogan will be selected on September 1st.

Let the countdown begin. For more information about The Bum Magnet visit my website at

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