Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Secret I've Been Keeping


I have a secret. Well, maybe the first part is not so secret. But I’ve had this desire to be a published novelist. I’ve written two novels that have been shopped up and down the streets of this city by my ever-faithful agent. Each of them has received their fair share of rejections.

I’ve learned this is not uncommon. John Grisham reportedly received 28 before A Time To Kill was published. Kathryn Stockett topped that with 60 before The Help was given a green light. So rejection by the big publishing houses does not necessarily mean what you got ain’t good. These days it has more to do with the business model, one that is based on what I like to call, the what is going to make the most money the quickest, let’s not worry about quality model.  It’s a corporate disease that is not limited to publishing. That is not to say quality is not being printed. In between the life story of Snookie from the Jersey Shore and Sarah Palin’s 432 pages on how being able to see Russia from her bathroom window qualifies her as an expert on foreign policy, there has been some good stuff given the seal of approval in the world of traditional publishing. It’s just harder to find.

But here’s the next part of this secret. As much as I openly abhor the inner workings of today’s corporate environment I confess I have coveted that acceptance into the club letter.  I admit all those editors, publishers and agents had me convinced that until I got my call from one of the Big Five saying I had an offer and an advance I was not print worthy.

Crazy, huh? But true.

Then back in January I splurged and signed myself up for a one-day seminar with Seth Godin on the future of the publishing industry. Seth, ever brilliant, made a point that I couldn’t shake. He drew the analogy that waiting for the book industry to deem me publishing worthy was like sitting on the bench waiting to get picked for the team in school. So I started to wonder, why was I waiting? This was me. The girl who refused to stand in line in her old clubbing days because she was not going to wait for someone else to get done having their good time so she could start having hers.

I remembered why I left the corporate environment. Their philosophies no longer matched up with mine.Yet I still wanted their approval rating. What was that about?  I live in a world where technology has gifted me the ability to do this myself. And I wasn’t taking advantage of it! I embraced on line banking quicker than this!

Then one morning while in the shower, where so many of my really good decisions are made, I decided I was going to self-publish my first novel.

There, I said it.

I admit it makes me a bit nauseous. But I have decided it is time to get up off the bench.

I haven’t been talking about it too much because I also decided I no longer liked the title I had.  So I spent a little more time wallowing in resistance to the do it yourself option and agonized over what the new title would be.  Now that I have it, I’ve given myself license to say it out loud. The Secrets They Kept

In between I hired a professional editor.  If I was going to do this it was not going to be with scotch tape and band-aids.  I’ve taken the results of her work to heed and have been implementing some changes. Today I hired a graphic designer to do the cover. Next is the uncharted territory of  e-book formatting, which quite frankly is more challenging and terrifying for me than writing the novel was.

So, my secret is out. I am about to join forces with all those other rebels who are changing the publishing industry.  You see I am one of those that believe people aren’t reading less. They are reading differently.  And I believe with the advent of e-readers they will be reading even more than before. Traditional publishing will not go away just as AM Radio didn’t disappear when Television entered the picture. But the game will be different. There will be more content, not less and the key will be to find the really good stuff among the mediocre.  I’m hoping my novel falls into the category of sought after quality.

This is not to say that should a nice advance from one of the old brick and mortars come my way I would not be open to considering it. But one thing is for sure. I am no longer waiting to be picked.

The Secrets They Kept will be available for sale on Amazon.com and other on-line book retailers in both e-book and print in September. Stay tuned for more details, and please, feel free to help spread the word!

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20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please do tell me when your book is out so that I may purchase a copy. As a struggling novelist (not yet published) myself I completely empathize with your plight. Also, there are so many amazing writers who just haven't been read. I'm excited to "discover" you!

Aphrodite's Daughter said...

So, so proud of you for going for your dream! I can't wait to enter into your universe and read your book in September!

Anonymous said...

YOU are an inspiration! I too have contracted with a professional editor for my first book and have not decided about publishing - my desire is to be in the top 10 NYT best sellers! Once the editing is completed then I will consider how best to proceed with publishing. thank you for paving the way with Self Publishing for me!

Please keep us posted when your book is ready to buy - I want a signed copy!

xxoo
jfp

One Womans Eye said...

Thank you all for your generous support! Keep reading the blog and/or sign up for my newsletter to stay posted on when the novel is available for sale!

Lesley Ryder said...

Congratulations!!! Nothing like bold action to shift the paradigm. Well played, bella.

Tracey said...

YES! YES! YES! I loved your blog and your sitting on the bench waiting to be picked metaphor. I love how you are up off the bench by picking you and running with it! So beautiful! Can't wait to read your book!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! You are an amazing force and a creator! I can't wait to read it!!
Cindy

Joanne Adduci said...

You were always a gutsy gal! Can't wait to read it. Of course, count me among those who'll want it autographed. Congratulations!

Charlene said...

Ooooh! I so love a juicy secret and this one didn't disappoint. I can see you as that sexy club girl, making sure she would get her fun. So glad you're doing the same with your book. It's bold and inspiring. Congratulations!

One Womans Eye said...

Wow! Thank you all for your enormous support. It is helping to keep the nausea at bay :)

DHigbee said...

Congratulations, Joanne! That too is a dream of mine. When I do finally finish that manuscript, I'll take your words to heart.

Hmmmm said...

Congrats! Please put me on the pre-sale list!! xo

Linda said...

Well, it's not like you don't have a following of readers already. WITHOUT a letter. Brave and brilliant (as usual).
xxL

Colette said...

Joanne, I am so excited and thrilled for you! I would do the same thing!

Elise said...

You go girl! I want an autographed copy as well. I'll let you know my next visit to NY in the fall so you sign it!

Tracy said...

Good for you!!

heliotrope said...

Very smart of you to work with a professional editor and designer! A friend of mine recently self-published with Xlibris and made some serious errors: bad cover, boring interior design and a book with many typos. Cover is really important; it's the book's "brand." I like the new title a lot. Hope you have a book party!

One Womans Eye said...

Thank you!

nathan powell said...

Gutsy move, good for you. I look forward to seeing your book on amazon.

I'd love to read more about your process of self publishing after the book launch.

Good luck!

One Womans Eye said...

Thanks Nathan! I'd love to share my stories!