Many of us are writers-wannabe. We are like the many teenagers who want to be NBA, rock, or Movie stars. Very, very few make it. It is a hard road. J. K Rowling talks about many (lost count) of publishers that rejected her first Harry Potter manuscript. I’m reading John Updike’s autobiography now and he is that point, in the story of his life,of craving to be a writer. I know that it is the greatest aspiration of my life. It is not to make money (only in my dreams) but to break even so I can continue to write. It cost at least $5,000 to get a book to the public. My previous book has sold hundreds and my royalties are around $500. So, you can see that using a small press (were the author funds the printing) is not a sustainable enterprise, unless you are wealthy. I am not.
Waters of Bimini is scheduled to be published in the winter by a small, local publisher. But this puts the book in a small corner and it will cost me far more money than I will ever make from it. So, I did start approaching agents and major publishers, as I have for other books. Of the major publishers, only Penguin will entertain any new author, and that is under their science fiction label. They have thousands submitted each year, and they publish 2-4 novice authors.
I submitted Waters of Bimini to them in July. They said they would get back in 90 days. I never heard from them so I had to inquire (I was assuming they looked at the first page and threw it into the recycling bin–yes, they accept only hard copies of the manuscript). Yesterday, I did hear from them. I heard that this is taking so long, because they are seriously considering buying my manuscript.
Getting a book published by a major house would be like winning the lottery. Not the money part. The payment would still be very low for a new author. However, it would mean that I can keep on writing. There is nothing on earth I would rather do than write. Now, I have to write, as I’m doing now, when I am very busy working my day job. I have constant distractions. But, if I could make a little money by writing, I could focus on it. I could cut back on my day job and have more time to focus on writing . . . without interruption.
Okay God, are you listening? Help me get a publishing contract.