Feel free to pass it along;
just strip out the "To:" line.
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 00:31:10 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Your Services
Hi, [ ... ]!
Thanks for your patience and good wishes. You’re right—I do/did have second thoughts about coaching first-timers. Too many come from the Mahesh Grossman school of writing (Google him!), which leads them to expect an “editor” to actually write their book for them.
My own book is in the polishing stage—first few chapters are crucial, and so the characters and conflicts must be as well-defined and rootworthy as possible. It’s taking longer than I’d like, turning out better than I’d hoped.
But meanwhile, I need to pay the electric bill that keeps this Internet available!
I’m attaching my new business card which I hope makes it through. . . the basic deal I now suggest is to pre-select those writers who are A) committed and B) willing to take direction. As the joke goes, it’s those who give the other 99% a bad name.
Here’s what I propose:
1) All who e-mail me get the first half of “Strats” for free. [_Seven Strategies in Every Best-Seller: A Guide to Extraordinarily Successful Writing_ by Tam Mossman]
2) If they want, I’ll then provide them with a complete copy, plus a critique (based on the seven strategies), all for $100.
3) If we click—and I believe their concept is viable—I can act as their agent to help them get it published.
Note: This won’t be a line critique as much as a game plan to revamp the commercial potential of a given book and show off its best sales points.
My approach is designed to weed out woe-is-me-ers. A prime and sad example of that is Susan Thornton’s memoir of being John Gardner’s fiancée, before his fatal motorcycle accident embalmed their wedding plans.
Check out the reviews on Amazon and you’ll see why it didn’t sell. Tatum O’Neill’s autobio took the same wrong-headed slant: “Everyone around me was so dysfunctional, what did I expect? Pity me, reader!”
Does the author want to share wisdom, discovery and enthusiasm? We can work together! Or just want to be like the Ancient Mariner, who buttonholeth one of three to ask, “Forsooth, thinkest THOU hadst a bad day . . ?” Pass!