And Here's How You Can Help Pt. II
You know it must be a big deal if I am posting on a Friday. It is. Sort of. Not really. OK, maybe. But I could use your help.
You probably remember my telling you (i.e., bitching about) this one particular editor at a publishing house, who loved the memoir, read it in one sitting, passed it along to her sales' team, and they said "Fuck you" (i.e., they didn't think they could sell it). This was little over a year ago. Anyway, when I split with my agent last month, I wrote this editor back, saying, Hey, I know you passed, but you seemed to really like the book, and since we (my agent and you) spoke I've built up a pretty decent marketing platform (via my Shameless Self-Promotion Tour and this blog), any ideas where I can send it next? She never wrote back. Wasn't surprised. These people are busy. You get one shot and that's it. And this was a long shot. I was violating protocol by writing directly. Didn't let it hurt my feelings (any more than they already were). No big deal. I started targeting smaller indie houses on my own. And I am still awaiting my first
Yesterday I received an e-mail from that editor, apologizing for the delay in responding, and saying that, yes, she indeed liked the book very much and though her house passed at the time, circumstances sometimes change. She said that I should resubmit the proposal, highlighting the recent press I've been receiving and anything else I can think of to aid my cause. It was a very nice note. Don't often get second chances, and I appreciate her taking the time out. Not sure how much of a second chance this is, but these houses are busy and editors aren't in the business of blowing smoke up your ass. They just don't respond if they are not interested (like the folks at NBC, to whom I pitched my pilot). I am mildly optimistic. And of course I am going to send the manuscript and proposal back in.
Holy fuck I wish I had never seen that video. I used to sort of like that song. The Alan Cummings cut is never a good look on a man.
You can't ignore the importance of a marketing platform. As a writer, your first instinct is, Fuck that shit. That ain't my job. I'm the artist! Then you spend a few years sleeping in a park and eating at Glide Memorial, and realize that there are rules, and that publishing, like every other enterprise in this world, is about making money (we're not talking about those pinko commie bastards). Walt Disney didn't erect theme parks around the globe to provide wholesome family entertainment. Actually, he did--so he could then turn around and charge a shit-ton of money for a turkey drumstick and the memories of a lifetime. And ain't nothing wrong with that. Publishers, lovers of books though they may be, are not in this business for charity. I am sure many are nauseated over having to publish tomes from illiterate fat tarts in New Jersey. But most books lose money. Everyone is a goddamn writer, and printing up these things isn't cheap. The rejection hurts, but the onus falls on the writer to convince a publisher otherwise.
Which is what I've been doing. Since getting turned down by this house (I can't say the name yet, but they are one of the bigger ones) is to start a grassroots effort, do my own promotion, reach out directly to fans of my work. Mostly I use this blog, whose readership has steadily grown to over 10K visitors a month, or my reading series Lip Service West, my website (currently under construction), Facebook, Twitter, basically anywhere I can pimp myself.
And now here's how you can help. Next week, I have to resubmit a proposal. It'd be great if folks could repost, share their favorite blog entries with friends, put them up on their walls, e-mail them, print them out and leave them with your uneaten chips at your favorite taqueria. I don't give a shit how the word spreads. But the more people who read this between now and next week, the better armed I am to do battle.
Also, I need more followers. 77 ain't gonna cut it. On the right hand side of this blog, there is a place to sign up and follow. So if you haven't already done so, please sign up to follow Candy and Cigarettes, though doing so offers no benefits whatsoever. Share with your mom. C&C makes a lovely gift. Because it's free. Unless your mom doesn't like profanity or jokes about Chlamydia, or just can't navigate around the Internets. In which case it makes a very bad present.
All I can promise you is to remain as clever and handsome and not go bald for as long as possible, and if the miraculous happens and they take my book this time, I will not abandon you. I will continue to provide quality You Tube clips and funny pictures of cats with religious regularity. This is my guarantee to you. So, please, just sign up and follow the damn thing.