Why I Chose PubSlush
I’ve been toying for a while with how to use my blog to push Shadows in the Spotlight. I want to make sure I’m not being redundant. I want to make sure people aren’t getting tired of me. But, 16 days into my push, with 37 wonderful people have decided that my work is good enough to for them to take a risk. And I thank them. But today, I want to talk about why I chose to work with PubSlush and it has more to do with my book than it does the rejections I’ve received.
Like most authors, my inbox is full of “thank you, but …” emails from agents and publishers. My favorites are the form letters that apologize for being form letters. I knew when I started to push Shadows in the Spotlight, I was walking that proverbial uphill trail while adding an avalanche to the mix. I’m writing not just a specific genre (rock fiction) but adding in gay and bisexual characters and the AIDS crisis. I might as well just take the book out and shoot it, right? Mainstream America isn’t quite ready for it, right?
My inbox is full of personal emails as well – commenting on things like commercial appeal or how it isn’t erotic enough. Honestly, I think publishers want uplifting stories. And while the market says that it’s tired of coming out stories, it really isn’t. None of my characters in this book have a coming out crisis. Marc’s father disowns him, but Marc himself doesn’t hem and haw. By the time you meet him, he’s the gay guy who brought gay to gayonia.
So, when I heard about PubSlush, it made sense to me. Here was a chance for readers to decide what was popular. I could make my case to readers, not to agents. But the real reason, the thing that made me hit click, was how close in ideals PubSlush is to the fictional record company in Shadows in the Spotlight.
Skid Records doesn’t operate like a lot of companies. They don’t put out singles so much as let radio stations decide what is popular in their region. They were ahead of the push on digital marketing. They demand their musicians (who own all the copyrights to the music by the way) participate in the scouting process for the next band that will blow everyone out of the water. Skid is a fantasy, but a viable one but to me, if PubSlush can make it work, so can they. Maybe it isn’t as much a fantasy as I’d like to imagine.
As the world spins ever closer to the ease of self-publishing and e-book publishing, I find myself asked a million questions about why I haven’t just gone to Amazon and used their platform. It might be something I do in the end. We’ll see how things take off. But as a writer, I know I also need support from editors. I get it that I’m going to miss things, no matter how carefully I try to put my product together. There are often legal issues within manuscripts and one misplaced band name and it’s game over if I piss off the wrong record company or very large basketball organization. Writers aren’t editors – no matter how good we are at it. It’s why we write. So at the moment, despite writers groups and beta editors, I need that support. So I chose a company to help me out.
PubSlush isn’t easy, and I like that. They demand from the get go that you, the writer, get involved. Just like Skid records, I’m engaged in the process. I’m learning. I’m seeing what is working and what isn’t working. It’s frustrating all the while being exhilarating. I don’t know if I’m going to succeed, but I’m trying. I’m getting people engaged. And I’m learning. All the while, I get the chance to tell some great stories.
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