It has been moderately spread around at school that I have a book published. I have been getting used to the varied responses from people. Some people say something like, “that is awesome, wow, amazing,” and others are like, “how many have you sold?” It is frustrating, but I have been making a bit of a game of it. I now like to answer any response with a question. If I get a “oh that is wonderful!” I like to respond, “really? Is it?” It is a bit rude, but helps me to sense whether or not the person is sincere in their enthusiasm. It turns out that most people who are enthusiastic have no intention of ever reading the book. When I get the “how many have you sold?” I now like to answer, “how many do you think?” If they say something really high like “one million,” I point out that I am teaching full time and most understand that had I sold a million copies that I would not be teaching. Mostly people are impressed with a couple hundred which is good because that is how many I have sold.
So something interesting happened recently which stung a little bit. I was in the “lunch room” and some teachers were chatting over a collection of old and bazaar books that someone received from their uncle or something. Many of them were poorly written and or silly. One of the teachers present is an English teacher. She is also a writer and working to publish a book. Though I do not know the details of her efforts to publish and have not read two words of anything she wrote I understand that it has been difficult based on comments from other people. So someone asked why if so many crappy books were published why can’t she get published. A very astute question because a lot of crappy books are published and I suspect that there are a lot of worthwhile authors that cannot get published. Then to my shegrin another teacher reminded everyone that I am published to which she shot back, “well, if you are willing to pay for it, of course you can get published.” OUCH!!! That hurt. Though there was nothing said that is not the truth. In fact I have resigned myself to trying to land a “real” publisher, though I believe that Tate is a “real” publisher that requires “co-investment.” I understand that a small publisher has difficulty competing in a very competitive market while trying to publish all new books from all new authors. No doubt that is very challenging. Still I have been less than pleased with Tate and hope to find another publisher. Keep your fingers crossed and I am glad that said teacher chose to point that fact out to me.