I received an email the other day from a representative of Penguin/Random House. I’m self-publishing a book that was made possible through generous donations to a crowd funding campaign. Someone from Lulu (the publisher I am paying to format my book) passed the manuscript on to them, and he just wanted to let me know that I’m close, and that if I had more substantial online following he’d be interested in publishing my book. When I asked him what that meant he said, “North of 50,000 in your kind of genre.”
My heart sank.
But I wasn’t surprised.
In the past two years I have contacted 226 literary agents, and 30 small presses. Most of them have told me something similar. They think I’m talented. They are impressed with my publications in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post… But until I gain a stronger social media following, they are not interested. I suppose this is what it means to be an author in the age of the Internet. So little of it has to do with talent. Everything has to do with Facebook and Twitter likes.
I studied creative writing for almost 10 years. My life goal has always been to publish a book with a major publisher because I feel that I have a good message. I honestly want to help families be stronger. I want to help couples realize that parenting is a challenge and that the frustrations you are feeling are normal. The best way to get my message out is by publishing a book through a major publisher, and every time I get a message like the one above I realize I need your help.
But I’ve always struggled with just how to ask.
But here it goes.
Five days a week I post on my blog, and I am honestly blown away that I have readers. I love your comments. I love your perspectives. I love that you enjoy reading my work. I don’t want to ask anything more of you. But I’m frustrated. I truly feel that I have a worthwhile message that should be seen by more people, and if you are reading this, I assume you feel the same. Please help me increase my following. If you read something that strikes you, share it. If you read my blog each night with your partner (I know that many of you do) tell your friends about me. If I’ve made you laugh about some frustrating part of parenting, share it with your friends. When you visit my Facebook page, click on “invite friends to like this page” and let others know how I’ve touched your life, your marriage, your understanding of family, and how I might be able to touch their lives, too.
If you can’t tell, I’m struggling a bit writing this because I don’t like asking for help. Particularly from people who've been so generous with their time. You sitting down and reading my words means the world to me.
But I don’t know how I am going to get my work to more readers without asking for your help.
No Idea What I’m Doing: a daddy blog.
Clint Edwards was blessed with a charming and spitfire wife, a video game obsessed little boy, a snarky little girl in a Cinderella play dress, and an angry baby girl. When Clint was 9-years-old his father left. With no example of fatherhood, he had to learn how to be a father and husband through trial and error. His work has been featured in Good Morning America,The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post,Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, Fast Company, and elsewhere. He lives in Oregon. Follow him onFacebook and Twitter.