Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dreaming Big... and Falling Flat on My Face

Me being me, I have a habit of dreaming big, and although as a kid, my favourite spot for viewing everything was from behind my mother’s knees, I knew that out there in that big old world there were endless possibilities...and some very scary things. Eventually I toddled out from my favored observation point, but it wasn't without a lot of scrapes and bruises, bumps and splats along the way. I still have the scars to prove it. I’ve come to realize that if I’m ever going to get published I've gotta stick my neck out once again... show my face to the world so to speak... and risk falling flat, in front of everyone. I figure that if I must jump, I might as well attempt the quadruple half-cow, backwards semi-split with a skinny latte ending. If I land in a graceless mangled heap, people might focus on my sheer bravery rather than my bad landing. Of course, I'm sure there will be some who will just call me stupid. Fair enough.

And so, in the art of the war that is publishing I have already attempted a couple of unsuccessful jumps. Why am I about to tell you...whoever that might be....this? I'm telling it, because it's part of my journey...however strange and weird it might turn out. It's all part of the process.

So...this summer, in June, I emailed Oprah. That’s right. Like I said, if you're going jump, make it a good one. Why not, I figured. I emailed her... oh... about 6 times, letting her know I was writing a book, sending her preliminary reviews from some friends. I proposed that if she would be my agent, helping to get the book published, I would take half the money that an agent usually takes and give it to her for a charity of her choice. The other half I would give to a charity of my choice. I thought it was a great proposal. I have yet to hear back from her. I think she must be busy. Maybe her charities don’t need the money? Or she thinks I’m an email stalker…or she’s not taking me seriously. I was serious. Call me Oprah. The mansuscript is good. I’d love to hear from you!

Onward and forward...when I completed the manuscript I emailed one of the DJ’s at our local Vancouver Radio Station, the Beat 94.5 FM. I offered to send in the manuscript for her to read telling her that if she hated it, she could just trash it, and if she loved it, well then she'd be entertained, and maybe she could just mention it on air. I said that in exchange I’d be willing to do just about anything. I haven’t heard back. Not a peep. Not even a “thank you for saying you loved our station. Please don't email us again.” I still listen to the station every morning, and now they’re getting free advertising on my blog. Same with Oprah. I’ll have to stop writing about rejections or everyone will be doing it just so I write about them.

The first two jumps having been rather unsuccessful and quietly deflating, I then tried to hire a Public Relations firm. I was even prepared to pay money. They were really quite nice but said that while my proposal sounded interesting , since I wasn’t published yet, it would be hard to promote something that “didn’t exist.” I didn’t email them back to point out that just cause I wasn’t published, it didn’t mean my manuscript didn’t exist {HULLO!} (memories of Philosophy 101 anyone?), because they did refer me to an agent. Unfortunately I woke up this morning to a very nice rejection letter from her in my inbox. My manuscript isn't a good fit for their agency. Sigh.

The good news is that I have submissions out to some other agents and I haven't heard anything from them yet. I may never hear anything from them. Or, at this very moment, maybe one of them may be sitting in their office, thinking that maybe, just maybe, they are willing to take a risk on a first time author. In the meantime I will continue to work on perfecting my technique, so that eventually somebody might say "Very Nice! We'd like to see more!" And if I survive all these moments of humiliation, it will have all been worth it. Oh...and Oprah...you're still welcome to call or email anytime. My inbox is always open.

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