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Whatís a Publisher to Do when cornered at a party? (867 hits)


Option #1. Abandon good manners and flee, murmuring, "We donít discuss business at parties."

Option #2. Announce, "We only accept manuscripts from agents" (whether or not thatís true) while thinking, "Weíre not taking that dreadful idea from you, thatís for sure."

Option #3. Say, "We arenít buying any manuscripts at the present time" (which probably has the virtue of being true).

Option #4. Take a risk. Ask: "What makes you think you can write a book that will sell?" This will bring a startled look, indicating that this question has never before occurred to the wannabe.

"Sell?" the wannabe mumbles. "Of course it will sell. Everyone will want a copy of my book."

If itís a dull party and you are feeling especially kind, this conversation can continue:
Publisher: Have you finished this book?

Wannabe: Well, not exactly.

Publisher: I see. How many chapters have you written?

Wannabe: Well, actually, Iím going to get started on it right awayĖthis coming week.

Publisher: That would be a good idea. Just who do you think will be interested in buying your book?

Wannabe: Like I said, everybody. My Aunt Ethel thinks my idea is pure genius, and a lot of the people at my office love it and say theyíll want a copy and that they wish they could write a book.

Publisher: Yes, I wish you could, too. What background do you have in writing?
Wannabe: I won a prize for a poem when I was in the fourth grade. And I read books all the time.

Publisher: Thatís encouraging. What book have you read lately?

Wannabe: Well, letís see. I read part of Lord of the Rings, but it was so long, and after I saw the movie, there didnít seem to be much reason to finish it. [long pause] But when I was a child, I loved The Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew mysteries.

Publisher: And you think if you write a book and it is published, not only will it sell, but you will gain fame and fortune?

Wannabe: Oh, yes, I intend to quit my day job and travel the country doing book signings.

Publisher: Taking Pity, Offering Tips--

At this point (if not before), you do sigh deeply and then maybe you say, "Let me give you a few tips and tell you how it is. Publishing books is one of the most challenging jobs in the world, and itís not synonymous with producing books, which anybody with money has always been able to do."

"In fact," you continue, "if itís synonymous with anything, itís synonymous with marketing. Consider the fact that approximately 150,000 new books were published last year, and itís a sure thing that they didnít all make a profit."

Then take pity on the wannabe. Confess that you also believe there is something glamorous about being an author, something akin to being a movie star or a rock idol, and that itís a good thing that some writers donít give up easily because sometimes they produce gems.

After that, you can launch into your big finish: "All the people out there who think they can write a book should stop throwing themselves and their ideas at the poor publishers they meet in social situations. Nobody would go up to a dentist at a party and lean back with open mouth to say, ĎDoc, this back molar has been hurting. Would you mind taking a look at it?í"

Come to think of it, though, I have a friend who is a physical therapist and who is often approached at parties by someone who says, "I have this pain in my lower back. What do you think I should do about it?"

"Take off your clothes," is her immediate answer, and that usually is the end of that. Iím going to work on a way to adapt it for publishersí use.

THIS IS REAL> but visit: www.MinistryMarketingSolutions.blogspot.com to get free advice!! Please!
Posted By: Pam Perry
Friday, September 26th 2008 at 5:17PM
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Come out of your corner 'swinging'. lol
Saturday, September 27th 2008 at 9:03AM
Jen Fad
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