I got my first rejection yesterday. I found another publisher that required just a query. I emailed them my query and within minutes, I got a rejection. The reason stated was “our memoir program is dedicated to celebrities“. It reminded me of a book I saw in the airport the other day. It was a “non-memoir” as noted by the author because why would anyone give a shit about someone that wasn’t famous. It stuck a pin in my balloon but as I read further, wondering what the book was really about, it was about this person’s life but in a cynical, non-interesting, barrage of bullshit. It still seemed like a memoir of sorts to me. Maybe a collection of thoughts which I thought would be better as a blog. The writer had a technique however, that I didn’t care for. I put the book back on the shelf.
I want to self publish but I’m afraid my 5 friends and family will buy it and that will be it. I think I need the expertise of a true publisher in order to get it on shelves and advertised properly. What’s strange, well, maybe not so strange, maybe more disturbing, is that I have a very small list of publishers but several pages of agents listed. Many publishers will only consider queries from agents. Going through an agent means that there’s another person in the mix that has to be paid, taking a cut of the profits. Considering I’ve quit my high-tech job for this, not so much do I want to bring in another party that’s going to take at least 15% off the top.
And then there’s the waiting.
As luck would have it, I got an email from a short story publisher that I’m subscribed to for the next contest. I decided to sit and burn out something to submit. While I was there this morning, saw a link for writing conferences. When I did a search, I found a website that had a list of publishers. I’ve found a giant list of them and have been going through them this morning. I’ve sent another four queries and have only gotten through half of the B publishers.
While doing all the research of the publishers, figuring out which ones are good for memoirs, what the requirements are for a submission, etc. I found one that offered 20% royalties. 20%? Oh my god. I’m still submitting but I think this is futile. I’m reconsidering once again going traditional publishing. I feel so wishy washy.