I think I’ve been pretty grumpy lately, and it’s caused by the fact that I have to drink Skinny Sugar-free No-fun Carmel Lattes. Okay, they’re kind of growing on me but still, I think a splurge is in order, so today it’s a full-blown-with-all-the-sin Carmel Macchiato. Yummy.
When friends and family ask, “How do you get published?” I usually joke, “You don’t.” The question mark on their faces tells me they don’t get the joke. It’s too hard for them to comprehend how difficult it is finding an agent. The query letter is beyond them, and they don’t get the submission process at all. It usually takes quite a bit of time to explain to them about how it works. Afterward, they always give their suggestions as to how they would do it.
“Why don’t you self-publish or make an e-book?” some will ask. “Then they’ll see how popular your book is and snatch it up for a movie or something.” This is where my eyes glass over and my mind wanders to how I wouldn’t mind if Jon Hamm’s character on Mad Men treated me as badly as he treats his secretary.
I don’t give people suggestions on how to perform brain surgery, build an engine, program a computer, or use Excel. Heck, if I did, scary things could happen. Even so, if I’d ask for an explanation of any of the aforementioned things, I would listen for a bit and then my eyes would glass over and my mind would wander to how I wouldn’t mind if Jon Hamm’s. . . Anyway, I’d never say, “Hey, why don’t you deliver babies, work on bikes, program DVD players or use Word Perfect instead?”
So how do you handle questions about querying and why your manuscript isn’t published yet?
That’s it. Slurp! (yum . . . carmel)