Is there anything more frustrating than writing query or cover letters and never getting an answer; even when you sent the return postage and self-addressed envelope? I recall my college English professor saying Mark Twain was refused forty times on his first novel. I think I have him beat.
While I self-published, so I could share my work with my family, I would like to propel my work forward. I know two of my books, Shelby and The Major’s Renegade are perfect matches for Walt Disney. Mr. Disney absolutely inspired me as a child. I remember plunking down on the floor in front of the black and white box TV with blankets and pillows waiting for the song, “When you make a wish…your dreams will come true.”
Sigh. The reality is, if you type into search engines “How to get published?” you will be quickly inundated by a bunch of self-publishing companies. Am I happy I self-published. Of course. Am I going to make any money- absolutely not. Self-publishing companies are just that. Companies that want you to pay them to build you a book. They would love it if you bought their “reading” services. Some of these editing serves charge as much as fifty-cents a word. Seriously?
Then there are the infamous contests. You pay fees to enter. If you read the fine print the winner gives up all rights to their work in some of these contests. They also sell your info to places soon to inundate you with all kinds of offers. I backed out of one, thought I had erased all the info, and an hour later some foreign person was calling to congratulate me. I was chosen to have my book published with them; yah, another self-publishing company.
Well, Mark Twain and Walt Disney never had to fight this kind of battle. Honestly, I think the only way to find a publisher is to be working in the industry. After this many no returns on my work I would dare to say the dumpsters of New York are filled with unused postage the homeless probably ripped off the envelopes to send letters to their loved ones. Glad I was able to help someone’s writing career; that was sarcasm.
Getting your book published without knowing anyone in the industry is about as fruitful as a “bang your head sign” on a brick wall. Someone once told me when you come to a brick wall you several choices. Number one, bang your head on it until you die. Number two, climb over it. Number three, dig under it. Number four, find the right tool and break through it. However, I have come up with a Number Five: Yell loud enough until someone throws you a rope and scale over it.
So, here is my dilemma. I have something called “a life.” It requires I feed and house twelve family members and care for my aging neighbors. It also needs me to do some ministerial work. There are seven horses, four dogs, too many cats, dozens of chickens, thirty head of cattle, three pigs, a bunch of rabbits, some turkeys, four ducks and a pair of peacocks who do not understand empty feed buckets. Gardens need to be tended, lawns need to be mowed, meals need prepared and then their is the cleaning and the mending in the words of Cinderella. I could go into building maintenance and chasing loose animals, but I think you got the picture.
My cousin said to start a blog and get enough material then advertise it. Okay, now I need to find something interesting to write about. Then I need to get it out to an audience. Did I mention sleep and a full time job were in my schedule?
I have my Twitter account, my Facebook account, my Amazon account, my self-publishing account, my blog, Pinterest and now I’m trying to figure out how to get my new U-tube channel linked to all this stuff. While I love my writing, homesteading is what I really do. My idea is to use this passion to yell loud enough to get an audience’s attention that I have really cool books that are so chalked full of comedy they’ll be laughing out loud and embarrassing themselves at home, on airplanes or in the office where they are suppose to be working. One reader told me she knew her husband was reading the book because he was laughing in the bathroom. Guess my work has gone everywhere, but out into the general public.
Well, got to go to work, take mother to town, hand deliver an eviction notice because some people think my rentals are free, send a registered letter to someone who sold me a car and never showed up with the vehicle- a lesson to never help people you know only vaguely, and hang some drywall in the rental that is nearly finished. Might even get the mowing finished on the lot. Yah. That’s life. I’ll be right back after these messages…