I was so proud that after six years I finally submitted a book proposal to a publisher.
This is what I received back:
Thank you so much for sending in your memoir proposal for What Happened to Hilary. It’s brave and unflinching, but shines bright with sparks of humor and sharp insight. I am always so admiring of those who can put their life on paper, dare to be vulnerable, and trust someone else to catch them.
However, I’m afraid that the memoir market is incredibly tough at the moment. Our buyers are not supporting us in personal stories of “becoming” with so many celebrity and political stories on the market, unless there is a plot hook that is truly unique (and those are so few and far between I regret to say I haven’t come across one in a long while). This isn’t to say your memoir isn’t worthy – on the contrary, it’s very inspiring; however, we don’t have the support needed right now to pursue.
I am sorry to pass on this, and thank you very much for sharing.
So, first paragraph is very complimentary. Second is a gentle let down. It isn’t that it’s not WORTHY – on the contrary, it’s very inspiring. And, the third, sorry to pass on this.
My first reaction: to take my book and go home.
Second reaction: I called my friend at the publishers and she talked to me. Since I’m not a celebrity and don’t have a very unique plot hook, we have to go a different route. Maybe it should be in the recovery/self-help section. Go look at other books, identify their agents and publishers, and try that route.
Third reaction: I DON’T WANT TO!!! (Tantrum, stomping feet, etc.) I didn’t want to have to work hard at this. I created flow, ease, and fun. I’m tired of this DAMN BOOK!! It’s enough already.
Fourth reaction: OK, back to the drawing board.
Aside: I just spilled my breakfast on my new shirt. I doused it water which will either remove the stain or create a bigger one. I knew I shouldn’t have put it on until I finished eating (I’m still at home), but I did it anyway. I won’t spill anything, I said. OOPSIE!!!!!
So what can I do? Phone a friend – I’ll call my book editor.
Ask other people who they used.
Or, yesterday while listening to a podcast about a guy who created a restaurant different from all others. He questioned why restaurants did what they did and created new ways to do things that made more sense.
I had an idea: I could go on social media and distribute just the prologue. Anyone who wanted more could ask me. Instead of publishing it, I could just distribute it. No cost to print or publish. I haven’t worked it all out, I just thought, why not try something new?
Food for thought. I’m going to keep thinking. I’m creating life out here. Not necessarily wanting to do the status quo. Why not create an easier path for people to publish? Why should the publishing houses or the Amazons control what we do?