I woke up this morning, and, as I always do, immediately checked my email for good news that I have been offered a six-figure book deal. Preferably one that includes all marketing and maybe a movie option. At least worth enough that I can drop everything else and just write for the rest of my life.
But, as it always does, my inbox disappointed. A reminder from my mum that when I next go shopping I should keep in mind that some pesticides might cause Alzheimer’s, and a very promising email from a descendent of African royalty who needs to move millions of dollars into a secure account and would be happy to share his fortune with me as soon as I give him my bank account details.
6 months after I finished my novel “Something Rotten”, and still no publishing house has bought it. Even though it’s a cracker! It really is! It’s got all the ingredients: death, a chase scene involving pigs, a dissident counter-culture that has decided to settle in purgatory and refuses to ascend to the heavens, and a very funny scene with a naked publican and a darts board. At least, those are the sorts of things I like to read about. Turns out I’m not mass market material.
“We need to be sure we can sell the property, and while we love the concept, this is potentially too controversial,” said one house.
What’s controversial about an afterlife world set in purgatory where bureaucracy is clogging up the ascension system? How can drunk guardian angels setting out to quit their jobs be considered a source of contention?
But at least my writing isn’t horrible. So there might be hope. This is what some top NY publishing houses recently wrote:
…really loved the idea for this project… talented writer – the pages just fly by!
…a fun concept that lots of people will connect with—and a theme that’s a definitely be a draw for readers. I enjoyed the sample chapters and thought the writing was great…
This is a great concept…but because it doesn’t align with our current portfolio, I am going to pass.
This is really terrific, but unfortunately we’re publishing only craft-based cozies at this time.
(Ah…really not looking for what I do, then…)
So, as I do every morning, I vowed to plod on. Research more publishing houses, keep writing short stories and whoring them out to the literary world, and hope that someone, someday, might like one. And when that perfect someone likes a short story, they might like to read my novel. And then a mega book deal is just round the corner. Right? Publishing is that easy, isn’t it?