Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Book Update: You Don't Know Me.

The editor rejections I've been receiving have been pretty positive if you forget about the parts that say, "I don't want to work with you." 
Luckily, I'm quite dense.  So I read what they say and then nod with a smile, thinking, "Why, thank you!"

The main problem for most of the editors I've heard back from is that it will be hard to market my book because people don't know me. That no one knows who I am. 
To which I say, OF COURSE no one knows who I am! My own parents have trouble remembering my name! I'm not famous! My book is not about being famous! It's about life after graduation and trying to find a job using a resume filled with random summer jobs, a degree in film, and my complete lack of experience. It's about living with my parents, in my childhood bedroom, and trying not to suffocate from my life's absurdity as my father suggests careers for me to consider in aeronautics and Riverdance. It's about uncertainty, and trying to start a life for yourself, and being afraid, and being so confused there's little else to do but laugh. It's part of a story we've all felt. And true, it would be easier to sell if it was written by Kim Kardashian. But maybe a recent grad living at home, struggling to find a job, or searching for their passion, doesn't want to read about Kim Kardashian's path to success. Maybe they want to read about something that reminds them of themselves. 

Whoa, rant! Where did all that Kim Kardashian stuff come from? Sorry. Anyway, here's the latest rejection:

Hi Penn,

Thanks so much for sending this my way. Jessica has a likeable, witty voice and I found this to be incredibly readable. Not only that but the subject matter is timely and there will be a lot of people looking for someone like Jessica who has been through the same struggles as they have. Unfortunately, my colleagues who read this weren’t as enthusiastic about it. They agreed that Jessica is talented but worried that memoirs can be very hard to sell especially when the author doesn’t have a huge platform. So sadly, I’m going to pass. 

I really appreciate the chance to consider this and hope we’ll connect on the next one!

Best,
Laura
 
So the point of this post, dear reader, is to ask for any suggestions you might have to increase one's platform. All ideas welcome! 
Thanks in advance, Mom. (ps. this is your daughter...Jessica.)

5 comments:

MFB said...

jessie, if you had a platform you'd trip on it.

(PRE-APPROVED)

how bout a Martin Family reality show?

~S said...

I think all these publishers are completely looney! I think you have a great writing voice (at least via the blog) and while I'm currently employed I can TOTALLY relate to struggling to find a place for yourself in "the real world" post-college. And honestly, isn't there already too much of Kim Kardashian etc. in the world? Let's hear from someone new. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

What about.... hold the indignant rage on your part until I can fully say all of this.... about re-writing the story and transforming it from memoir to 'fiction.'

The big stumbling block to all of the publishers seems to be that it about your life. Make it a fictional auto-biography with roughly the same format and story as you currently have, but work on a more universal appeal for the characters in the novel (as opposed to the relieving of the engimatic quality most memoirs use for its 'famous' figures). Memoirs tend to be all about the character and the readers' understand of the character, and somehow bending their preconceived notions. If you make it a fiction they will be interested in the story of it all, then be enthralled by the character central to the circumstances.

My time for a rant, and I'm not trying in any way to be mean by my suggestion. I'm just providing a small suggestion that would require a load of work. I'm still wishing you the best of luck regardless, and know that one day you will be published!

Macnabbs said...

I think the positive feedback from publishers - not to mention landing an agent, means success will come.

Unlike the examples here:

http://slushpilehell.tumblr.com/

Anonymous said...

Would Platform Shoes qualify? I think I still have a pair. HG