It's been three years since a division of New River Press published MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A PARENT'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. People have started asking me when the next book will appear.
As Red Smith once said, "Writing is easy. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein."
Here's an update on A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR GROWN CHILDREN WITH ELDERLY PARENTS (WHO HAVE ALL THEIR MARBLES).
Although the SURVIVAL GUIDE manuscript is finished and the rewrite done, there are approximately four unpaid "editors" I've asked to read it, before I send it to a paid editor! After each of these readings, the manuscript must be "tweaked," hopefully without major sections needing a rewrite.
Then there is detective work involved. My parents (on whom the manuscript is based) are no longer alive and cannot refute the humorous antics I divulge. However, there are others in the book who are alive, six years later! I must track them down for their permissions to publish, to the extent possible.
There is also research involved. I don't mean the journals or interviews on which I based the entirely personal "Rules" I learned for the GUIDE. I mean the fifteen or so books I've read on the same topic, to ensure I am not duplicating material for a publisher.
After all three of my writing groups have weighed in each month on the excerpts I read them, I must keep up-to-date on internet blogs about writing, as well as the Writer's Digest and Florida Writer's Association newsletters.
But writing is the EASY part, to state it once again.
Next I must find an agent or a publisher.
My first publisher, New River Press, has gone out of business. I must begin the solicitation process over again, since I choose to go the traditional publishing route for validation vs the self-publishing route. I will query agents and send proposals (with very stringent guidelines for nonfiction) to publishers.
At least this time I have some contacts and know the ropes. If I am lucky enough to get into print some day, the HARDEST JOB begins....marketing!
There is no money in the publishing industry today for marketing, even with the best-known giants, unless you're a John Grisham. An author must devise a marketing plan on his own. From past experience with my first book, I know it is a plan that an author will be asked to follow for all leads and contacts, down to "cold-calling" for book signings. I spent a year on the road marketing MINOR LEAGUE MOM from Maine to Florida. I paid for travel and provided many book giveaways and refreshments at book signings. I hired a N.Y.C. publicist who acquired interviews for me on NPR, sports radio across the country, and Fox TV.
So why bother? A writer must write, a dancer must dance. It's something I enjoy doing every day. Thankfully, electronic self-publishers are available in case the rejection letters stack up! At least I know two recipients for A SURVIVAL GUIDE - our two grown sons.