Even writing the title of this blog makes me smile.
MY VERY OWN MEMOIR.
About 6 months ago, I sent sample chapters (they were all I had at the time, I hadn’t even written a manuscript, I was just dipping my toes into the water of being an official Author at that stage) to 6 Publishers that I liked the look of. 3 Rejected me outright – which I respect. I appreciate someone taking the time to say “no thank you” because it at least lets me know where I stand. 1 Publisher didn’t respond at all – GRR. TWO Publishers (Olympia Publishers in London and Austin MacCauley in New York) responded with a “We love it! Please send the entire book for further consideration”.
When I got those email responses from well-known, established Publishers (Olympia Publishers in London and Austin MacCauley in New York), I felt like I had found my purpose in life. I felt like my dream of being a writer had been validated and that felt absolutely AMAZING.
So much winning!!!
So I spent every spare moment I had writing my Memoir. I was at the Library every weekend writing away. Sometimes I cried over my chapters because it was FREAKING PAINFUL to have to re-visit the trauma and betrayal I’ve been through. Sometimes I sat back in my seat with a contented smile, thinking “oh JD…you bloody genius”. Every time, I put my heart and soul into the words I typed. 6 months later, when my entire Memoir was finally finished (Best day ever!) I sent the completed Manuscript to both publishers. When I pressed ‘send’ that night, I was holding Alun’s hand because it was such a HUGE moment in my life.
Three weeks later, Olympia Publishers pitched a book deal. A hybrid publishing deal where I as the Author had to contribute $5000,00 to the book being created. At first glance, that was a big blow to my confidence. Why do I have to pay for this? I did a Google search which at first confirmed my fears, speaking of “vanity publishing” and the dreaded word…”scam“. Further research, however, revealed that paying towards the publication (so paying towards just making the book) actually gives me more shares and more control of my Memoir once it’s made. The Publishers do the marketing and get my beloved Memoir into all the best stores (WOOHOO!) and I help with a ONCE-ONLY payment of $5K which gives me 50% of all book sales and more control with what the book looks like (Can you imagine? I’m so excited thinking of looking at book cover designs and what the pages inside will look like – wow!!!) which is actually pretty awesome.
Austin MacCauley hadn’t gotten back to me after the promised 6 weeks, so on week 7 I sent a gentle “Hey…I’m still here” reminder email. They responded to that the next day which was really hopeful. They said they wanted more time to make a decision and would get back to me on that soon. They may very well present with a Traditional Publishing deal – where they take care of ALL the costs and I sit pretty doing NOTHING but enjoying seeing my book printed and in stores. In this type of deal, I only get 15% of sales and the Publishers get most of the control in what my Memoir looks like and where it’s sold…but it’s exciting because they also take on 100% of the responsibility for the book, so that’s awesome. It means they believe in me and my Memoir’s ability to SELL so that’s really exciting.
TWO Publishers looked at my life story – my heart on paper – and thought “This is something worth publishing”
I will never forget that, no matter whether my book actually ends up on shelves or not. Publishers typically go through HUNDREDS of submissions a day. 100’s of budding authors get “no thanks”…but me? I got a “YES” and that will forever be a source of great pride.
I did it! My writing is worthwhile!
I do hope my book sells, though. I hope I can go into my local Dymocks Bookstore on Hay Street here in the city and see my Memoir alongside others in the “Biography” section of the bookstore. That would be the proudest moment of my life.
I can’t believe that this is something actually do-able, guys!!!
This dream…might actually turn into reality!!!
I might be a published Author!!!
Me being ME – I have asked Olympia for more time to decide on whether I’m going to progress with them or not…while at the same time submitting my completed manuscript to 3 other Publishers.
I can’t seem to decide what I want to do with my Memoir…just that I want to share it!
My main goal is for someone like me to pick this book up.
In my imagination, it’s someone hurting. Someone who feels like they don’t fit in, no one likes them and they’re looking through Memoirs to see if anyone else feels the same. They would spot my book on the shelf, be intrigued by the cover and title and would think “Hmm“. They would flick through the pages and words would jump out at them. Words like “betrayed“, “alone“, “socially awkward“, “not as good as anyone else“, “the family unfavourite“, “lost” along with words like “resilient mother f*cker“, “strong“, “capable“, “I don’t EVER give up” and they would light up inside, thinking “Oh my gosh, me too!”. They would flick through a few more pages – slowly, this time…and whole paragraphs would stand out to them.
They would – as I always do – flip to the back cover to see the price. They would decide that yeah, that’s fair for someone’s life story…
…and blessing of all blessings in my life…they would stand in line and BUY MY BOOK.
Can you imagine?
That’s my goal.
Not to sell a book – although OH MY GOD that would be AMAZEBALLS – my goal is to reach out to the person struggling and to enfold them in a hug where they feel so much less alone because of how relatable my stories are.
My ultimate goal is for my book to be the reason someone feels understood. Seen. Cherished for who they are.
That’s worth pushing for, isn’t it? I hope to get my Memoir published soon.
My dreams for my Memoir:
- Become published
- Appear in bookstores world wide
- Make it to the BEST SELLERS list. Anywhere on the Top 100
So far, I have one book deal. I might get another in a week or so. I have also sent my manuscript to 3 more Publishers, so…anything can happen.
Watch this space, guys. I’ll fill you in the moment I hear anything new 🙂 SO EXCITED!!!