To get a book deal, you must first forget about the book deal. Write the best work you possibly can. Bring your vision of a perfect project to life and let your passion leap from the page.
Once you’ve got your project nailed down, you have one of two options:
a.) Wait for book publisher to call and offer you a book deal. This is my rather unusual experience, so we’ll talk more about it.
b.) Have some inkling of what you’re doing, get an agent, shop your book around, and do a victory dance when your persistence pays off. This is the general idea of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan, and it would have been helpful to have prior to my experience with scenario a, as mentioned above.
So, scenario a.). Your work is out there. You have lunch with an acquisitions publisher. The universe aligns, you pinch yourself, you can’t believe you are in Vegas in the middle of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant having lunch and talking about contracts, timelines, dates, delivery, and dreams come true.
You look over at your co-author, one Jonathan Canlas, who is simply bursting with joy. You squeal and shake your head repeatedly. You allow pure joy to wash over you with your pizza and that appetizer that comes with smelly cheese on top.
You work for ten months on this book baby, preening and primping. You shake your head at random times for the sheer luck and joy of it all.
You laugh. You stress. You hit deadlines. Barely. You consider throwing your printer out the window at least 200 times. You stay up late. You eat pizza. You ignore your husband, even when he dances around the room half-naked singing an improvised song to get your attention. The deadline is your world.
You wonder how your life got to be so jet-set. So “Oh yes, the book deal went down in Vegas. It was simple, really.”
And then…and then the publishing date changes by 10 days.
You’ll be in India when the book baby emerges. You’ll be without the comforts of a first world country, and in particular without a bookstore containing English books, when your books arrive via Amazon pre-order and on bookstore shelves.
Your heart breaks. You’re going to miss it.
Luckily, you have friends. People who will, because you will bribe them quite effectively, buy your book and post pictures of it on the internet for you to come home to.
From now until launch day — January 30th — pre-ordering a copy of Film is Not Dead entitles you to a super-special bonus: the Portra 400 guide to film in PDF form.
Just pre-order your copy here and then forward your Amazon receipt to email@example.com — she’ll send back your freebie to enjoy.
And please, post pictures of my book baby on the Film is Not Dead Facebook page for me to enjoy when the time comes. It would mean the world to me!
Edited to add: a shipment of my author’s advance copy books came on the same evening this post went live. This is the moment I got my hands on the book for the first time, while I was dashing off to dinner at a friend’s house. Also, Matt completely upstages my joy.