Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Little Piece





Well, I guess the first blog entry was a way to be upfront with all of you; my potential readers. And yes, all that stuff is true. And yes, you’ve probably never heard of me. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to get to know you. I’m very interested in life stories. Hell, I have to be, people. I’m a magnet for people to come up and tell me about their life. Sometimes people confess and confide in me even when I didn’t ask them to. It’s a weird thing, but it doesn’t annoy me. What really amazes me is how they could trust me that much to just launch into their life story.

So, in order to familiarize with you guys, let me start with this - one poem is all I got.

In 2005, right around the time I had completed my first draft of my manuscript Mr. Dead Eyes, I got anxious to get something either copyrighted or published. I had about four poems in my arsenal and one manuscript but it was at least something.

So I searched online for where I could stick my work. Not knowing that much about Poetry.com, I decided, what the hell and why not. I uploaded my poem and we were off to the races. Time goes by and I receive a letter. A letter saying that my poem was fantastic and original and groundbreaking and blah-dee-blobity-blah. You have to understand, at that time I was easily swooned by anyone who said anything about what I wrote. And they were kissing my ass royal. Finally they say that they’ll stick it in a book along with about 100 other poems and authors. It was a book titled Twilight Musings.

“Imagine it, Roberto, your very own poem alongside a small biography of yourself in a book for you to keep or share . . .” the letter encouraged on.

Then it got to . . .

“. . . . a fifty -no -eighty -no - a hundred dollar value available to you for the price of forty dollars.”

The drawback was I ordered two copies which rounded off to eighty dollars anyway. But, at the time, it was no biggie. A lot of authors have to pay sometimes to publish their work, right?

My parents even offered to pay for the copies just so that they can own a copy themselves.
And then, the reality hit me somewhere in the vicinity of a year later. The book itself is professional bound and the cover looked descent. But the book has no ISBN number or barcode. So it’s a good chance that you can’t find it anywhere except poetry.com. So that meant not only were the 100 other authors my only audience, they were also my phantom friends who took the dive with me.

And for years, Poetry.com has been begging me, pleading with me, digging the lint out of my ass just to get me to send them something else, do a reading. Imagine it, a forty-no-eighty-no-a five hundred dollar value available to you at a mere $100 dollars. They sent me letters non-stop. Finally, I got sick of the constant butt-kissing over a poem that was 3 stars at best but would not cure cancer and told them to stop sending me letters. They politely did.

So, while I was jumping up and down, excited and with an ego that could fill the room, over my poem being published in a book, I was able to send in my draft to the library of congress and three months later had the letter saying it was officially copyrighted. It wasn’t a total loss. It is part of the learning curve that we all go on. Or should I say Turnpike?

In any case, the point of this is to say do not be scammed or easily be heart struck when a company says your stuff is gold and not only do they want to publish it but they want YOU to pay THEM to publish it. And no royalties - just exposure.

Do your research, contact publishers, get rejected a few times and then get sold, get an advance check and be happy. That’s the way it usually goes. Or you can take the self-published route. Many famous and notable authors have.


So that was my little piece of exposure.

1 comment:

Gail said...

Rob -
I am looking for authors of podcast novels, to invite you to check out podiobooks.com, to see if you are interested in putting your novel there, too.