So how Do You Avoid Ending up in the Slush Pile?

In part one of this expose’ (Blog February 26th)  I talked about insider facts of the publishing housespublishers, writers, authors,

Now for the solution:

Five years ago if you had decided that whatever it took, your book must be shared with the world you were looking at a $15,000 to $30,000 investment in printing, storage, and marketing.  Then it was up to you to schlep your books from city to city, state to state because there was no one else to do it.  And most times because this would be a gargantuan task, your books would, for the most part, expire in a storage unit somewhere.

As an example, I wrote a stage play (documentary) back in 1996.  I tried everything to get “Cook County Justice”  published.  IT WAS IMPORTANT!  The true story of a man, at age seventeen, falsely accused of murder and sent to prison for life.  When I began the story/script he had been in prison 45+ years.  A model inmate, and even with the sentence of life with possibility of parole as part of the deal, they would not let innocent men, felons, prison,injustice,freedom,self publishing,him go.

Admittedly there are things wrong with my script….starting with a cast of fourteen men.  Where are you going to be able to cast fourteen men in a play.  My fellow directors and producers are silently laughing  at me right now.  But, surprisingly it has been produced a few times to rave reviews.

So this play has languished for twelve years until self-publishing and ‘print on demand’ came in to being. (more about that later ).

Another story that had to be told was of the women who lead normal lives; married, employed and raising children.  Until that day when their oh-so-normal husbands take a wrong turn.  It might be a disagreement over a football game at the local sports bar that turns deadly.  Or driving a family member to the corner store for a pack of cigarettes.  Or wrong time, wrong place where there are drugs present.  It happens to decent men every day.

I was compelled to write about these women. Many years ago I wrote a full length play about this; women who find their lives torn apart when their husbands are sent to prison.  For those of you who don’t know the restrictions of play writing:  the writer must crammed the story into 100 pages; have one or two set changes, and a manageable sized cast.   Over the years people had begged me to tell the rest of their stories; a novel would have none of these time or place restraints.

And that is how “Women women's fiction, prison, love, family, writing,Outside the Walls” was created.  No traditional publishing house would touch it and those that would accept an unsolicited submission immediately plopped it in their ‘slush pile’.   I have a three-inch thick folder of ‘rejection‘ letters to prove it.

Not so many years ago the term ‘self-published’ was a dirty word.  They were called ‘vanity books’; published by the author because they weren’t good enough for a real publisher to accept.

That has all changed!  ‘Self-publishing’ has become so respectable that the publishing houses are actually considering offering an independent publishing option within their companies.

With most Self-Publishing Platforms you are also given DISTRIBUTION.  This, of course, is almost as important as your book being published.  My books and scripts are on around the world.  They are sold at Barnes & Noble and on all the on-line sites selling books.

My books are in local book stores and my friends at Drama Book Shop in New York carry most of my scripts.
This has been such a successful solution for me that I no longer pursue a traditional publisher for my books and scripts.
PS.  Hey!  What about a literary agent, Trish? 
Can’t they get you published?  The answer is ‘yes’.  But for 16 years I have tried to get an agent to represent me.  If you’re not published, no agent, if you don’t have an agent, no publisher.  I got off that merry-go-round. …..I’m just saying…

Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS.  The NEW SERIES, “The Writer’s Corner” INTERVIEWS with other  best-selling AUTHORS!

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and plan on featuring an interview once a month .  I have invited such luminaries as:  Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNeal, Mark Childress, Robert McCammon, Rhys Bowen,Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Elizabeth Gilbert, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, Jeffrey Deaver and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!

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