With Friends Like These...

In the world of writing, it is most definitely who you know

The major players in the recent election controversy have already been approached by several publishing houses to author books on their experiences. Formerly innocuous government officials are suddenly thrust into the limelight, and immediately a book contract is handed to them. Whether or not these books ever make it to the best seller list is anyoneís guess, but one thing is clear: publicity and notoriety often replace creativity and talent when it come to publishing. For most struggling authors, the key to that six-figure contract is not necessarily what you know, but it is most definitely who you know.

And that too can be a problem. A very good friend of mine who Iíve known since Kindergarten (25 years...) recently published his first non-fiction book with Simon and Schuster. I was thrilled for his success and offered to help him with the promotion, marketing or any thing else he needed. I suppose I could have asked him for a contact at Simon and Schuster for my own novel "Red Wine For Breakfast" which is published (printed) by iUniverse.com. Maybe it would have made a difference in getting my book into the hands of an editor, maybe not, but I would have thought heíd at least have made the offer. Since he didnít ask, I didnít pursue it, but it would have been nice if he had at least tried. Oh well, maybe he was after all, afraid of a little competition.

I have another very good friend who is an actor on a popular daytime soap opera. He recently attended our 20th anniversary party and I took some candid photos of him and I. Iím sure there are many web-sites and gossip magazines that would love to get their hands on these photos, and more than one way to promote my novel by using our friendship, but Iíve never once considered it. Of course if he happened to mention in his next interview that my novel was one of his favorites, that would be nice. Celebrities are easy prey for "tell-all" authors, (my kindergarten friendís book as many such celebs mentioned in it) but there is only just so much space on the bookstore shelves, which doesnít leave a lot of space for us authors who donít have or refuse to use our connections.

Everyone may get their fifteen minutes of fame, either by personal acts, or because they were in the right place at the right time. As I donít have any plans to sleep with a president, murder anyone famous or use my friends, I guess Iím just going to have to rely on my writing ability, tenaciousness and integrity to succeed. Wish me luck!


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