Thursday, October 8, 2015

Book Update and My Last Blog Post (for a bit)

“So what’s going on with the book?” is a question I get a lot. The answer, “not much.”

It’s been a whirlwind. Early in the writing of my book, Turbulence in the Veins, I had the interest of a very big agent – a guy who works at one of the top 10 literary agencies in the world, and represents the estate an author so famous they are mythical. That agent – unsurprisingly, I should add - passed on my manuscript. Then a draft of my memoir won an award and landed me in front of a Hollywood literary agent – a guy who specializes in turning books into films. This guy does not accept queries, and his client list is all Oprah book club authors. He was so interested in my story that he sent me to work with one of his favorite Beverly Hills editors, who loved it, but he also passed on the book.

Then I went through a list of other agents who had all expressed interest in my memoir after I won the award. Each requested the full manuscript (which I considered an accomplishment in itself, given how many writers say queries seldom even get acknowledged these days). I received almost identical feedback from each agent. “Fascinating story. Well written. But not for me.” I even had two agents ask me to let them know who I ended up with; they were certain I would find representation.

Meanwhile I did everything the literary world told me to do, and built my so-called “platform.” I was blogging regularly and had a steady readership (each post garnered between 100-300 readers in the first week it was posted - certainly not viral, but more people than I ever expected would read my blog), and I had a Twitter following of over 6,000. Not bad, right? Not good enough either. I am an unknown, and few agents are willing to take that kind of risk.

I also made connections with authors, some of whom introduced me to their literary agents. Still no takers. Three New York Times best-selling authors took me under their wing, gave me advice, and offered to write blurbs for my memoir when it was published. One even spoke with me on the phone for over an hour giving me tips, and shared their book proposal plan with me so I would have a template to work with. The support was amazing, and I will never forget the generosity of these authors.

And nada. The reality is the memoir market is saturated. My option is to keep moving forward and pushing that boulder up a hill to continually roll down just to push it again, self-publish, or try something different. I do not have the marketing skills to feel confident about self-publishing, even with one of the hybrid agencies, so I’ve decided to go in a different direction.

I have not given up on publishing my memoir. The good news is that it’s written and isn’t going anywhere. I am, however, putting it on the back burner for now so I can put my energy towards a new nonfiction project using what I’ve learned through this experience.

THANK YOU, most sincerely, for your readership, support, and - in some cases - your friendship. If it weren’t for you, I would not have made it this far, nor would I be embarking on this new adventure. 

Stay tuned…

2 comments:

  1. Keep writing, blogging, posting, & tweeting. I'm absolutely certain it's going to happen for you. Maybe when your next book is a bestseller, then they will scramble to be the ones that represent you. I am looking forward to it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wondered about that, Christina. Brava to pushing forward. I know that one day your book will be published. Until then I am happy to continue reading your posts!!

    ReplyDelete