A Book Deal? Watch Me Fuck This Up.
Or as I said in my native language and dialect:
The world’s most mediocre white dude just inked a deal with one of the “big five” NYC-based publishing houses. Well, an imprint (but respected and a big deal) of one of the big five. Of course, with anything and everything ever, there are caveats.
First I have to prove myself by translating from French to English and re-releasing some old, out of print work, but in the ebook format I’ve been trying to get my old publisher to agree to for years. I might even release it in a limited run of hard copies, too! Who knows!
But I do know it’ll be available via Amazon for Kindle, via Apple for iBooks, via Barnes & Noble for Nook (???); any other formats (epub/mobi/PDF/whatever) I’ve retained the rights to, so I can set up my own distribution channel. But let’s be honest, we all know you’ll get it from Amazon or Apple, because capitalism.
I didn’t take an advance because I’m donating a very healthy portion of all proceeds to charities and organizations to fight sexual harassment/violence and to support sex workers—and (on a more hopeful note) to organizations to help women, persons of colour (especially women of colour), the LGBTQ2+ and minority communities to become more visible and represented in progressive politics. The reason(s) why I’m doing this should be self-evident, but if you purchase a copy of the work, it will make far, far more sense.
As for donations to charities and organizations, I will be 100% transparent in my accounting and will post updated statistics online—stats that you can verify with the recipients. I will be posting more about this later on; first I need to consult with the right people (read: the women I know) to find causes and organizations that have been vetted and truly do good work.
Here’s what I hate asking of people that have been through this process and who are categorically smarter than me: I’m going to need people to proofread/edit/copy edit, and offer constructive feedback over the material. That, and someone willing to donate some photography and visual art for the cover. It’s a big ask and I think everyone who puts in labour (physical, emotional, or otherwise) deserves to be paid for their time and contributions. But as I didn’t take an advance, and I’m having to retain an attorney/litigator to deal with something else going on, my cash flow and savings are limited while I work on this. This really sucks to ask, or to even mention, and I’m incredibly uncomfortable doing so. But if you can contribute time or something tangible and creative, I’ll love you forever/more than I already do and pay you back after this is over. If you can, you already know how to get in contact with me via email/text/phone/Facebook.
So, uh, in the meantime…?
- I’m a “Member” of Medium’s Membership program, so I will be releasing some sneak previews, dedicated blog posts dedicated to the “process”, and behind-the-scenes photos/videos/Spotify playlists to other Members in locked posts.
- I might do something similar to that on Patreon. (Shoutout to Chelsea for the idea.) I’m not sure if that would be the best platform for what I’m trying to do here (Kickstarter?), but I’m also sure that whatever Medium is promising in monetary terms will be…tiny.
- I will be “branding” and “promoting the shit out of this”. Apologies in advance.
- Oui, je vais publier une version française du « ebook ». Si une maison d’édition veut prendre en charge cela, nous pouvons produire un « ebook » et une édition limitée du livre en version imprimée.
- There’s a ton of shit going on in my life right now, but this is a good distraction from the negative things, and a good way to keep myself occupied.
If all goes well, which with my luck (especially over the past few months) is rare…
Then I actually get an advance (to help pay back anyone who contributes time and creative work) and a ‘team’ and get to release my new work in actual real author-type books and don’t have to keep on DIYing this. Pretty nice for a French Canadian writer writing in English. (Do I still get those sweet government grants and tax breaks? Québec? Allo?) Branding! Promotion! A publicist to save me from myself! Something my mom can be proud of! (For once.) Fuck everyone that’s made my life miserable the past few years! No more Tinder/Bumble! (J/K I’m doomed to those apps forever.) Say yes to more scotch!
The book proposal for this was loved by the suits in the big city, and a pitch I made for another book after that blew everyone’s mind—not quite sure if it was in a good way or a bad way. So we’ll see what happens and what happens when I get back on that bullshit again.
Early days, kids. Early. Days.
The ebook is at least guaranteed to be released and distributed by my “big five” publisher’s imprint. I’m going to keep the price low to cover the costs the retailers will take, plus what the publisher will take, and have enough left to donate most (if not all) of what remains. So…buy a copy, even if you end up hating it. Or buy several copies! (Yeah, I don’t know how that makes sense either…)
I’m going to be translating, editing, writing, and putting the book together entirely in New Orleans—for the most part on my own…starting pretty much now. Okay, tomorrow…or Monday. Kidding, I’ve already started and I’ve made a lot of progress in a short amount of time.
I hope to be finished before the end of the year—sooner if possible.