Ignoring The Filter
10 down, 355 to go. In Los Angeles.
There are a number of industries that have filters in place to try and weed out what they hope is the good from the bad. For example, if you're an actor, you need to be a member of the Screen Actors Guild (the actors' union) in order to work on any union TV or movie production. But to get into the union you need to have worked on a union TV show or movie. They make it tough to get into the union to try and weed out (they hope) the good from the bad.
The book industry does this too and the way any author is judged is whether or not he or she has a publisher. If they do, they're "good" because no publisher would publish a book that wasn't good (or so the thinking goes), and if they don't have a publisher, then "we're not interested".
Oh, and by the way, to get a publisher you really need an agent. And to get an agent, you really need to have written a book before and have a large following.
So, that's the situation I was facing. Did I have a large following? Uh, no. Had I written a book before. No. Did I have a large following? I have two dogs, does that count? Did I have a publisher? Nope.
Now what? Was I supposed to just quit? Give up? Decide that pressing America's reset button will have to wait until I maybe find an agent or publisher...someday?
In the book I talk a lot about searching for and finding the truth about anything that looks complex and let me tell you, the book publishing business is complex. So, with some research, I found the truth, and here it is: I can do everything a publisher can do, and maybe even better. I had an amazing editor (thanks Kate!) The cover was done by a first rate designer (thanks Mike!) I have one of the top publicists (thanks Marcel!) And thanks to Amazon and Ingram, any individual and any bookstore in the country can easily purchase the paperback, with industry standard wholesale discounts and returns policy. Kindle, iTunes, Barnes & Noble and others make it easy to publish the book digitally.
So did I quit because I didn't have a publisher? No! I became the publisher!
And with that we have another first - first paperback copies of the book placed into a bookstore. As my publisher, I gave eight copies of the book to a big bookstore in Pasadena called Vromans to display in their store. They get the book at no charge up front - just like any book published through a well-known publisher - and when the book sells, they pay the wholesale price for the book. If you live in the Los Angeles area, you can now go buy How To Press America's Reset Button at Vromans.
This is the exact same thing I'll do in every bookstore, in every town I visit across the country - like planting seeds that I'm hopeful will grow into a fast-spreading national movement.
The picture above is of the books waiting to be taken away by the staff at Vromans! They were excited.
Today still in Los Angeles. Had a great meeting with an audio book producer. Preparing myself for the journey to come.