Jayne Hitchcock here. I’m pretty disappointed with my publisher – my last book, True Crime Online, hasn’t been selling well and when it first came out, I did a flurry of radio interviews, but then that was all they did for publicity. I had to rely on my media contacts and contacting local media when I did speaking engagements or book signings (which I also scheduled myself) to promote it.
I was ready to give up on writing when I got an email from a publisher in Maryland in October. They wanted to know if I’d be interested in writing a book about online crimes. Would I?! Of course! Before replying, I did my research, found them to be reputable and with a good lineup of books and authors. I cautiously replied, talked to the publishing agent who had contacted me over the phone, wrote a proposal for a book about cyberbullying and sent that off to her, along with a copy of True Crime Online and my previous book, Net Crimes & Misdemeanors 2nd edition. She got back to me with what they provide for publicity/promotional events and I was pleasantly surprised at how invested they are in their authors.
I was psyched and posted on Facebook that I might be writing a new book. While most of my friends congratulated me and wished me luck, several (who mainly messaged me privately) asked if the publisher could look at their book as well.
I was a bit affronted. First, my books are mainly non-fiction and all of the people who contacted me had written a “novel.” They obviously didn’t know anything about the publishing business. I patiently explained to each one that there are different kinds of publishers and mine was strictly non-fiction looking to branch out into the technical/Internet areas. A couple of them actually got upset with me that I wouldn’t 1) Share the name of the publisher or 2) That I wouldn’t help them get published
I patiently guided them to the Writer’s Digest web site and guide to literary agents and publishers, then let it go.
The publishing agent asked if I had five peers who could vouch for my expertise, so I set about contacting some Internet-savvy folks I know, some dealing with social media, and asked if they could be used as a reference for my new publisher. One was “too busy,” another wanted to know who the publisher, but I was hesitant to share. Is that wrong? But I did finally get five people who will vouch for me.
Now I have to sit and wait until the first of the year to see if my book proposal is accepted. I am thinking it will be, since they *did* invite me to provide one to them.
Some friends have been asking, online and in person, if I’ve written the book yet. I honestly almost laughed out loud. I had to explain that my proposal has to be accepted first, then a contract signed, then I will start writing, which probably won’t be until January or February at the earliest and again, only *if* it is accepted and approved. Then I have a year to complete the manuscript, then it goes to editing, proofing, etc. It probably won’t be out until 2016 if it all goes well. People are just boggled over that. They think getting a book published happens like magic!
Have any of you experienced this? Friends wanting you to help get them get published and not understanding anything about how it is really done? How do you handle it?
Cross your fingers for me and have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!