I wish that I had a dollar for every time someone asked me to help them write or publish their bestselling book. My income would exceed the advances and royalties I’ve received as an author. Friends, relatives and even strangers think that since I’m a multi-published author, I hold the golden key to the publishing industry.
“I have a book of poetry I want to sell,” I am told. “I have an idea for a book. If you help me write it and publish it, I’ll give you credit (or share royalties,” they say. This is not ghostwriting for a fee. These people will not pay for my services because, off course, their idea or memoir is so unique that it will jettison to the top the best seller lists and I would be sharing the glory and the ride. Right! Do they have a bridge to sell me in Brooklyn?
Of course, don’t I know all of the influential literary agents? Am I not friends with editors at the major publishing houses? Of course, don’t I have the time to spend on such an amazing concept?
Time out! I am a twenty-year overnight success. If you call being published but not rich or famous a success. I have struggled hard to write and market my books. I have faced more rejection than someone on an Internet dating site. I freelance with deadlines and have my own novels to complete. I have to market my work as well. Do these people honestly think that I will give up my job, and writing is a real job, for their dreams?
Maybe I am passing up a best seller but I want that best seller to be my work, the culmination of my ideas, sweat and tears. I want my book to catapult to the best-seller lists. I’ve struggled to get where I am as a writer. Getting published is a struggle.
I remember an advertisement for a gym that said that, “if it could be bottled, everyone would buy it.” Sorry to disappoint but there isn’t a smooth ride toward publication. There isn’t a secret formula.
If you want get your book published, sit down and start writing it and proceed from there.