I’m going rogue.
Not in a Sarah Palin kind of way. I mean it in the spirit of every great underdog, the ones who aren’t expected to pull it off and then they do. We’re talking Karate Kid and Rocky and DodgeBall and…
Wait what? The poet e.e. cummings?
Yeah, that guy. True story (if the internet is to be believed): One of America’s most famous poets was rejected by several publishers and ended up self-publishing “No Thanks,” a 1935 collection of poetry. Guess what else? HIS MOM HELPED HIM. He dedicated “No Thanks” to the 14 publishing houses that turned him down. He further bucked tradition by getting his work bound at the top, like a reporter’s notebook, rather than on the sides.
I love that.
Later — as the ultimate Nelson Muntz ha ha* — that same collection did end up printed by a real publisher.
If you hunt around enough, you find more stories like that one. A contemporary example is “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which was self published and then picked up by a publisher. (There isn’t enough porn** in my book to be like “Grey.”)
Since my newspaper column was rogue to begin with (read here) and my book is an extension of that work, it seems fitting to buck tradition. Also, as any mother will tell you, if you want to get stuff done and done right, you have to do it yourself.
So here we go then.
I even have an ISBN — which I’m not exactly sure what number it is because every time I open my manuscript, I have to retype all the identifying info and get assigned a different one and yes, since you asked, I do want to day drink when I use Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Pain… in the ass) because it is not an easy process. Some writers will tell you that it’s majorly uncool to just use the ISBN issued to you by Amazon because then you bear the — gasp! — mark of self publishing. Well, I don’t have anything to hide. It is what it is. So slap a scarlet “A” on my book. If I’m gonna do this thing, I’m gonna do it my way.
I proudly own my DIY status. In fact, I’m thinking I’m even going to use excerpts from my rejection letters right on the very back of the book. Just the nice parts, though.
I would love nothing more than for this to catch on fire and be the scrappy newcomer who ends up topping the category for NONFICTION > humor > short essays > exasperated-mom-who-hates-interior-decorating-but-really-enjoys-chocolate because the more specific a category you choose, the more likely you are to own it. Wouldn’t that just be the ultimate clap-back? That would be awesome. So, c’mon you guys, get behind me. Follow me on the blog and keep tabs on This., which is what I am gonna call the sucker.
*That’s a reference to this “Simpsons” character. But, you knew that.
**There is absolutely no porn — but mine’s a much better written book, if I say so myself. And you don’t have to be embarrassed reading it in public.