Not Throwing Away My Shot

Well, I tried.

And that is worth something.

I wrote,  I called, I pumped friends and strangers for advice and help and almost a year after sending out my very first query, no traditional publishers (or agents) have expressed interest in my book.

To quote my favorite old-school emoji….


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One bona fide, published humor author told me that the process can take years. I don’t have that kind of time. Not because I’ve been given six months to live or anything nearly that dramatic. I’m just ridiculously impatient. I’m more of a fly-off-the-handle-and-just-do-it kind of person because there’s always a next thing. Which explains my craft bin full of almost finished projects.

So… what now?

Well….. There is self publishing. Or, excuse me — as it’s known in these modern times — print on demand. It seems both liberating and like a complete pain in the butt. I’m so not interested in driving around with a box full of unsold books in my car, so Amazon’s option of just throwing it on the website and seeing what happens without any outlay of cash or requirement of a minimum number of printed copies is intriguing. Yet, I do love the idea of seeing my book on display at a cool locally owned bookstore like Antigone Books, which ain’t gonna happen if I go all maverick DIY.

But DIY, or rather PIY (print it yo’ self!), I guess it’ll have to be.

My head is spinning from all the different things to consider: trim size, margins, bleed, which refers to the type and photos running off the page and not authorial hemorrhaging*, although I feel like blood’s got to be running out my ears after all these mind-numbing tutorials that still leave me confused. Also, I truly suck at technology, so trying to figure out all this downloading and software nonsense particularly hurts my little, liberal-arts, analog brain. Part of me wants to just run off some copies at Alphagraphics and sell ’em at the end of my driveway, as was No. 3’s plan during his brief, 7-year-old entrepreneurial streak in which he dreamed up the idea to sell homemade morph suits made out of my old tights. Yes, it was weird and yes, they looked awful but my benevolent mother swept in and bought up all the inventory before our homeowners association could call the Better Business Bureau.

I never said I wanted to write a bestseller available in 10 languages. My goal was to write a book and I did that. So really, mission accomplished. I could move on with a clear conscience. But, when I was telling a friend’s stepdad about all my non adventures in publishing he said the nicest thing.

“You have fans out there and they’d want to read it,” he insisted. “Even if it’s just paying to download a PDF.”

Aside from telling me how great my shoes are, I can’t imagine a sweeter compliment.

So, Michael, this is on you — so you’d better buy a copy. That is, if I ever get this printing process figured out.

Also, if anyone can tell me what a PDF is, I’d love to know.**


*Almost a good band name!

** Not really. Please don’t write and tell me because truthfully, I don’t care all that much.


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