Dave Barry Loves His Dog (But Not Me)

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This is Dave’s latest book. I’m tempted to read it, but it involves a very old looking dog so I know it’s going to be sad and I am not up for that.

Dave Barry rejected me!

Get your mind out of the gutter. Not in *that* way. This is a PG-ish-rated blog, for Pete’s sake.

I’ll explain. BUT FIRST let me give you the long back story that goes along with my rejection, which I can’t even call painful because, quite frankly, I’m getting so used to the feeling.

It’s the little things that matter, really and truly. That’s what I tell myself because the big things, well, they are so much harder (and maybe even impossible) to come by.

When I set out to write a book, I never anticipated it would be so stinking hard to get published. Because I am an idiot.

I thought for sure a local publisher would snap me up because I was a longtime newspaper writer. I had a following! People loved me! In fact, I was gonna skip the local scene entirely and aim for The Big Time Publishers — until an author friend gently counseled me to start small. He was right. But, it turns out Tucson publishers are very niche and that niche doesn’t include humor and needs to be very specifically tied to the Southwest — it doesn’t matter if you have a built-in readership right here in town.

So I spent months sending out 75 personalized, funny letters to agents and publishers and got shot down directly on occasion or more often, by completely being ignored. I started to realize just how impossible this could be. For a publisher to pay attention, you need to be A) an established comedian who sells out Madison Square Garden or B) have tons and tons and TONS of social media followers.

If you care, and you may not, you can learn how the industry works by following the saga of Caroline Calloway. Go ahead and Google — you’ll find lots to read. None of it good.

I’m happy to sum up for you because I know you’re busy:

So, Calloway was this privileged (I don’t need to say “white” here, right?) college chick who started an Instagram account that BLEW UP. Had thousands and thousands of followers who clicked “like” on her pretty pictures and lengthy descriptions of her fabulous existence. She landed a six-figure book deal. With my agent.

OK, well, he’s not my agent, but he was the one Delusional Kristen* really wanted because he thought outside the box and brought “Shit My Dad Says” into the world.

Anyway, this Instagram influencer** got the huge deal but then she failed to produce a book and a few weeks ago, her friend wrote a tell-all saying that Calloway bought  followers and that she, the friend, was actually the one who wrote the posts and the book proposal.

And that is how it works.

Turns out the writing part of a book is the easiest part (well, if you’re a real writer). All the other stuff — trying to land a deal, marketing — that’s really, really, suck-your-soul-out-through-a-too-small-straw hard.

Lately I’ve been stupidly DMing Important People thinking that maybe someone will remember how it was trying to start out and that someone will be gracious and agree to read and maybe write a review blurb for This. No one’s responded and that’s what I expected, still I am a hopeful optimist who believes in the inherent good of people. I sent a what-do-I-have-to-lose-but-my-self-respect-and-that’s-already-gone email to Dave Barry, like I did to so many others, and guess what? HE RESPONDED! He said no, but he still took the time to email me back… or his intern did. I choose to believe it was really him and I’ll take it because, ya know, the little things… Besides all this just means I’ll have a much better story to tell Stephen Colbert when I do hit it big and get invited to be a guest on his show. Oops, sorry, that was Delusional Kristen hijacking the blog. Down, girl! Down!

 

*my alter ego who thought she was landing a publisher; not to be confused with Dream Kristen, who has a pretty amazing but weird life when I’m asleep

**that word makes me throw up a little in my mouth

 

 

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