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.