“I note that you are putting together another masterwork, entitled American Male Prostitute. Might I suggest that you direct a little of that “research” towards yourself, and your own fantasy life?” – From an angry reader of my website FrogenYozurt.Com
The idea for American Male Prostitute came after reading my favorite, most useless writers’ magazine whose title shall not be uttered here. But thinking about it, it was not totally useless, since it enlightened me with enough information to learn about the bizarre world of book publishing.
To put it in a nutshell, today’s publishing world is divided into two principle sections. First, there is the exclusive pool of traditional publishers, and, second, the help-yourself shark tank represented by the so-called vanity publishers.
Vanity publishers have a significant edge over traditional publishers in regards to brutality, business sense, and profitability. They ruthlessly pursue the vast pool of aspiring writers who, in turn, are rejected by traditional publishers or literary agents. Ironically, in the world of traditional publishing, authors are rejected not necessarily due to lack of talent, but the use of the wrong font in a manuscript, an insufficient query letter, or other minor shortcomings. Vanity publishers will publish everybody and everything. No questions asked. Just pay your bill, but don’t come crying to them when you can’t sell a copy of your book.
Now, take a wild guess which of the two can afford to put serious money into full-page advertisement in writers’ magazines. These magazines, like all other publications, sit between a rock and a hard place. They are not only obligated to please their readers but also their advertisers. And here we go again; the sharks keep the upper hand. Aspiring writers are on the losing side, one way or the other, whether they consider the traditional or vanity publishing method.
On top of all that, the majority of writers’ magazines are – excuse my French – full of crap. They are full of motivational nonsense to keep their readers happy enough to continue their quest for stardom. At the same time, they keep feeding the sharks.
Just the other day, I found yet another grossly misleading advertisement that made my blood boil, and I was ready to get my hands on that computer keyboard and add a flaming entry to my blog. Maybe, I thought, I’ll make this a series and share my experiences with every new, aspiring author.
Then I remembered the saying “Don’t anger me or I will write a novel about you”, and that is exactly what I did. There is no better weapon than writing a novel about the industry. They deserve it.
And just for the record, no, I never submitted any manuscript to a literary agent or publisher. I didn’t have the time for that nonsense. Consequently, I was never rejected. My point is, my motivation to write this novel does not stem from frustration but mere perverse curiosity.
And, no, I did not get a book deal through sex, lies, and deceit. I don’t have the mandatory luscious looks, and I am very happily married, and, after all, I run my own publishing business.
Yet, I wondered, what does it take these days to get a book deal with a traditional publisher? What do you do when, hypothetically, you’re running out of time and mere talent is not the be-all and end-all?
AMERICAN MALE PROSTITUTE
How I (Almost) Got A Book Deal Through Sex, Lies, And Deceit
Stuart Martin Berry has only three months left to find a publisher for his first novel. In a desperate attempt to reach his goal he leaves his home to live in New York. His wife has given him free rein to do whatever it takes to get a book deal. Her only request was not to give her any details on how he got there. If he fails he will be forced to give up his dream of being a famous writer and take a regular forty hour a week job. For Stuart this is sufficient motivation to start a three month adventure full of sex, lies, and deceit, without losing focus of the ultimate goal. When he finally reaches the finish line, he has evolved and become a top expert in the publishing world.
The question remains, what does it take these days to get a book deal with a traditional publisher? What do you do when, hypothetically, you are running out of time and mere talent is not the be-all and end-all?
Stuart Martin Berry has found the answer: If you can’t impress them with your talent, baffle them with your bull-shit. [Read more, including an excerpt]
American Male Prostitute is available at Amazon.Com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, and any other good bookstore.