A Secret To Getting Published

When Warner Books,​ one of​ the​ world's largest publishing companies,​ published my first book,​ the​ Angry Clam,​ back in​ 1998,​ the​ most common question I was asked was,​ "What were you​ smoking when you​ wrote this book?" This was quickly followed by the​ second most common question,​ "How in​ the​ world did a​ 40-page,​ hand-written book with bad drawings of​ a​ clam get published?"

The answer to​ the​ first question was easy - pure Turkish Hashish - just kidding. (Actually,​ I awoke in​ the​ middle of​ the​ night with the​ idea of​ a​ ticked off clam running through my head,​ then feverishly spent the​ wee hours putting a​ frantic pencil to​ paper.) the​ answer to​ the​ second question takes a​ little bit more explaining but I believe it​ contains one of​ the​ essential keys (and secrets) to​ getting published.

The story of​ how I got the​ Angry Clam published is​ a​ brief one so I will share it​ with you​ now:

After I awoke from my long morning nap after having spent the​ previous night beginning and completing my first ever attempt at​ literature,​ I reviewed what I wrote,​ kind of​ liked it,​ and then decided to​ show it​ to​ a​ few friends. to​ my amazement,​ they all thought it​ was hysterically funny - but in​ a​ good way. (They were actually laughing WITH the​ book not at​ it!)

Inspired by this,​ I purchased the​ supplies necessary to​ create a​ more presentable copy of​ the​ book - like giving it​ a​ cover and hand-writing and drawing each page in​ pen - and then went to​ my local Kinko's to​ get 50 copies printed up. the​ following day,​ with my 50 copies in​ hand,​ I decided to​ go to​ the​ owner of​ a​ neighborhood bookstore to​ see if​ he would be interested in​ selling the​ Angry Clam on​ consignment. to​ my delight,​ he looked at​ the​ book,​ laughed,​ and then said sure,​ why not,​ he would take 5 copies. (I believe he was half taking pity on​ me.)

Unbelievably,​ within 24 hours,​ I received a​ call from the​ owner asking me for 10 more copies. He then explained how the​ staff of​ the​ bookstore had bought the​ books and they were now passing them around for everyone to​ read. I brought over the​ 10 copies and they were immediately placed in​ the​ "Staff Favorite" section near the​ front register. Incredibly,​ I began receiving weekly orders for the​ books.

Encouraged by this,​ I then went to​ the​ owner of​ another neighborhood bookstore,​ described the​ tale of​ what was happening down the​ street,​ and he too agreed to​ take a​ few copies. Astonishingly,​ a​ very similar phenomenon happened. So this was great - I now had 2 local bookstores consistently selling and promoting the​ Angry Clam. it​ was at​ this point that I stumbled upon the​ very simple idea that would eventually get big New York literary agents and then several major publishing houses to​ pay the​ Angry Clam notice.

Placing a​ call to​ the​ owners of​ the​ 2 bookstores,​ I very politely asked them if​ they would each write a​ brief letter describing the​ "phenomenon" of​ the​ The Angry Clam at​ their store. Thankfully,​ they both agreed and within a​ day I had my two letters.

Armed with these testaments of​ the​ Angry Clam's selling prowess,​ I was ready to​ see just how far my little book could go. So I purchased a​ copy of​ the​ Writer's Guide to​ Literary Agents,​ picked about a​ dozen agents,​ and then mailed out a​ copy of​ the​ book and the​ 2 letters to​ each one of​ them.

What happened next has made me a​ legend in​ my own mind. Within 2 weeks I received calls from 5 of​ the​ agents - each wanting to​ represent the​ Angry Clam. After carefully selecting one of​ them,​ it​ took less than a​ month to​ get my first of​ several publishing offers.

What happened after the​ book was bought by Warner Books is​ a​ tale for another day. (The Angry Clam eventually hit the​ shelves of​ bookstores all over the​ United States and even rose into the​ Hot 100 on​ Amazon.

But the​ moral of​ the​ Angry Clam story is​ this - in​ the​ publishing world,​ a​ book's perceived ability to​ sell is​ king. Prove to​ the​ publishing companies that your books can sell on​ a​ small scale and they just might take a​ chance that your books will sell on​ a​ large scale. What have they got to​ lose? Unknown authors rarely get more than a​ tiny advance and the​ cost to​ print up the​ first 2,​000 books is​ nothing to​ a​ large company.

After all,​ Publishing is​ just a​ business.
A Secret To Getting Published A Secret To Getting Published Reviewed by Henda Yesti on August 28, 2018 Rating: 5

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