Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dear Small Publisher

Dear Small Publisher:

Life is hard for you, the small publisher. You operate on a dream, a delusion, a vision of the world as it should be, and a thin margin. With so many damn writers everywhere you'd think there'd be a findable amount of really good ones. But no, it's all needles in a haystack out there, tan, hay colored needles. So then you'd think with all these many, many stalk-of-hay writers there'd at least be a lot of readers among them. If all these millions of people plying you with their strangely matching manuscripts would just buy a few books every year you might even be able to publish a few of their books. They're not all terrible. Instead, apparently, between rounds of fevered manuscript writing, all these prospective writers appear to relax by watching the same damn television shows, or maybe popping onto the the Internet to "facebook" with their writer friends about what small publisher is about to lower their standards some more.  And if any of these hopeful authors do buy a book it's bound to be one of the same hundred books by the same mostly cheesy, occasionally brilliant, hundred authors who will never ever publish with you. Not with some behemoth publishing conglomerate showering money and false promises on them and on their sharp-eyed, cruel agents.

If only you found that diamond in the rough, or, let's face it, if you figured out how to compress coal. To hell with that needle, you'd take a piece of hay that was a bit sharper than usual. You just need a little chance!

I am here for you.

I am here to give you that chance. Yes, it is just a chance, but it is an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity.

It's the "Greatest Publisher in America" contest. I am offering the small publishers of America a chance to publish the finest American author. I am offering a competition. It's about time that the best publisher in the world got to publish the best author in the world!

Yes, my dear small publisher, it's time to put it on the line. It's time to set aside your small, inching struggle and instead reach out boldly in the direction of your dreams. You will probably never find that needle by grubbing endlessly in the hay. Hell, there's not even going to be a needle in there. Why would someone put a needle in a haystack anyway? The needle is right here, in my hand. I am holding it out to you. And it's not just any needle. It is a needle made of diamond. A needle made of diamond! With a bonus spool of spun golden thread! It is yours if you take the chance!

Simply fill out the application for the contest to publish below. Sign and date it, and send your application and processing fee of $40 to the contest address postmarked by the contest deadline. Answer the following questions correctly and you will have earned the opportunity to publish the best new author in fifty years. But remember, it's a contest, your answers can't just be great, they have to be better than the many fine small publishers who are reaching out for this same crazy, miraculous dream. Good luck!

Contest Application
(complete in full)

1. Many small publishers think it's the author's job to publicize, but the great publishers know that only they have the power and resources to create audiences. If you won this opportunity to publish a future Nobel Prize Winner who no one has ever heard of, what would you do to make sure hundreds of millions of people read all of his books?

2. How much money do you think an author who is a genius should get per copy? How much per E-book?

          ____ 75% of net sales
          ____ 50% of gross receipts
          ____ They should pretty much have it all. I'd just be so honored.

3. During the editing process how likely are you to say the following things:

     A. Wow, this is good stuff!

          ___ Sounds like me
          ___ Not my style.

     B. I think that's enough work for today. Let me buy you a fancy lunch.

          ___ It's possible if things are going well
          ___ I am already mulling over our restaurant choices

4. Besides The New York Times and Publishers Weekly, who do you see quoting on the back cover of the first book? What do you think they'll say?

5. Do you think you'll get all choked up when you read your name in the acknowledgements?

           ___ I am hard boiled, but fair and dedicated
           ___ It could happen
           ___ I feel kind of weepy already

Contest deadline is FEBRUARY 22, 2016. Make check for $40 payable to "Greatest Publisher in America Contest".

Please enclose a SASE if you would like to be notified in the event that you do not win as notification costs are not included in your application fee.

Good luck!

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