All these years of struggling to be a professional author who makes real money are finally going to come true, and my chimerical-seeming dream will materialize. I will not give exact figures (that would be gosh), but I can see my ship coming in. So–if anyone is interested–I shall tell the tale of how I first published and the trajectory afterwards. I will, however, not name the publishers until I get to the big two at the end of the story…
I had the idea to write The Bible According to Eve at my workplace, Breakthrough, one day, when of all things I hallucinated and had an experience which would come to be the first poem. I did change things in my hallucination before writing it down… and I had the idea that I would write The Bible According to Eve, a book about every woman in the Hebrew Bible. It took years, and when I was threw I had over 1800 pages. Then I found an editor… the editor did little more than make sure I’d made no grammatical mistakes, but I guess it helped. Then, unsure of what to do with the book, I forgot it to work on other projects.
These projects would eventually include Faust in Love. I wrote it because of my distaste of Donald Trump, but the protagonist of the book is an anti-hero, lacking of the heroic qualities. When you meet him in the book he is studying Muslim science looking for the Elixir of Life. I hope it is clear that for all the “fun” he has had he is seriously afraid that someday the party will be over because he will die.
I also wrote a two book set about a character named Grace and her beloved Grandma Början, plus personalities like her “boyfriend” Prince Alfred of Wessex, come from back in time to meet her. The books were:
Grace: or, in Search of the Leviathan;
The Cycle of Ahriman.
The books are for adolescents… really, I wrote other books, too, but these books will come up again at the end of my blog.
Then one night I was online and found a “publisher” who took full manuscripts. I sent Faust in Love. They weren’t interested. But then I had a Eureka moment: I took The Bible According to Eve and split it into 4 books, writing frame poems for most of them. Then I sent this publisher The Bible According to Eve: Women of the Torah, the poetry about the Five Books of Moses. And they accepted it.
However, I would have to pay money. Mom, I knew, wouldn’t pay it. So I managed to scrounge of the money from my Disability Check and sent them what they needed to publish. Ultimately I would get a business credit card with American Express, which I would use as a slush fund to give publishers and ultimately agents (and even, in the end, an editor) money to proceed. Anyway, this first publisher told me it was something of a “half-way house” between traditional publishing and self-publishing.
Unlike an earlier book I wrote and self-published–Brazil–many of my friends were enthusiastic about The Bible According to Eve: Women of the Torah. My friend Steve asked me to sign his copy.
I did do things afterwards that I thought would help. I even paid to have my book reviewed and I paid for my book to be shown at book fairs as well as be shown in Hadassah Magazine and in Book Fairs… but a moment came along when another publishing company asked to publish my work… They asked me if I had any work like the The Bible According to Eve: Women of the Torah I could publish, and I said:
The Bible According to Eve: Nevi’im I: The Histories: Eve in Search of Adam;
The Bible According to Eve: Nevi’im II: The Seers: Eve Supplants Lilith;
The Bible According to Eve: Ketuvim: The Writings: Eve Struggles with God
and Man and Prevails.
We talked about publishing one of my novels, and because of Donald Trump’s being a force to reckon with in U.S. politics, and his being the main villain in Faust in Love, I sent them Faust in Love, which they published.
I sent different libraries–there were some that ordered my first book–an advertisement of my book… and I bought an ad in Hadassah Magazine.
Eventually I got a phone call from an agent who convinced me to give them a check but who has gotten me a publisher in Macmillan. Before signing the contract, I checked on-line and saw that Macmillan was one of “the top five publishers in the English language.” I will be getting a percentage of the royalties.
Then I got another publisher that was interested in Faust in Love, and he told me:
I had been shortlisted by several major publishers for Faust in Love. He said that my book—and this is useful to sell it—has gotten 1,842 “views” on-line. So people are interested. He has said that I am going to need to write a Query for Faust in Love… he also asked questions about the other people I have self-published with. The publisher I am selling Faust in Love to is Simon & Schuster! Plus he is sending my Grace Manuscript to a friend who helps sell YA novels. However, there is no guarantee that she will like the book.
I won’t tell you the exact amount I am getting for Faust in Love, but it is a six-digit figure. I will be paying a small amount for the editor who looks at Faust in Love first, and when I officially sign the contract I will have to go to New York City. As for The Bible According to Eve–although I signed the contract, I don’t know.
So I am very happy…