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Words of encouragement

December 5, 2009

Since this project began, it has ostensibly existed in a bubble. I’ve talked to a lot of people about it but never anyone who could tell me with any certainty that it could work. Pretty much everyone has been enthusiastic and supportive, but I hadn’t talked to anyone who really knew anything about getting a book published.

Until yesterday.

As it turns out, a close family friend (albeit one I had never met before) worked as a literary agent for about 25 years. After a few days of phone tag, Joe and I finally had the chance to talk yesterday afternoon.

I explained to him the basic idea of the book I want to write and told him that while I’m extremely confident in my ability to write the book, I have no experience whatsoever with the business side or even any real notion of how it works.

He said, for now, I should worry about writing a first draft, at which point I would give it to someone like him (or, I guess, him) for feedback. Once I got the manuscript to a place I wanted, then I could start looking for representation and then for a publisher. I knew this in the general sense, but I was looking for particulars on how to make it happen.

What he told me was, basically, not to worry at all about making it happen. To get a book published, one needs two things: a good manuscript, and to know people. Because I know him, and he knows people, the latter is taken care of. I just need to write a book.

This takes immense pressure off of me. I know nothing of the publishing industry, but what I see constantly in the music world is hardworking, talented musicians who never have anything to show for it. It has long been on the back of my mind that I could write a masterpiece and be unable to get it out there. According to Joe, this is not the case; he said he’s seen time and time again that if something is good, it will get picked up.

Of course, this still means I have to write a great book, but knowing I have control over what happens is an incredible relief.

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